(KATV) A traffic stop was anything but routine Thursday morning, when a Little Rock police officer ended up swimming after the suspect in the Arkansas River.
A patrol officer tried to stop a vehicle when he noticed it going in circles in Murray Park after the park was closed. But instead of stopping, the driver took police on a chase.
The pursuit only happened over a few mile stretch at about 4 a.m., but because of all the circles between the park and the golf course, it lasted 20 minutes.
Sgt. Cassandra Davis says, "When they initiated the traffic stop, the driver refused to stop." That's when the white Chevy Malibu took off; the maximum speed during this chase was clocked in at 20 miles an hour.
From the park to Rebsamen Golf Course it is less than a mile. Thirty year old Anthony Fuller of Paragould took officers off road in circles for about 20 minutes. A police car unit was able to get ahead of the car and use stop sticks in an attempt to flatten the suspect's tires. Sgt. Davis adds, "The driver continued on to the golf course and drove about 20 miles per hour into a nearby cliff into the water."
At that point, several officers were in pursuit and saw the car crash into the water. "They saw him exiting his vehicle, they attempted by verbal command to have him come back to shore to the bank. He refused to do that, one of our officers did go into the water," Sgt. Davis explains.
The officer in the water guided Fuller to the nearby island where they waited for water rescue. Witnesses say it took about 3 hours to get the car back on land. "We could be looking at a different situation but fortunately the officer was able to get in and coax him to the nearby sandbar."
Anthony Fuller could get traffic charges and criminal mischief for damaging property but he hasn't been formally charged. Fuller is undergoing psychological treatment because while on the island waiting on water rescue, he reportedly told the officer that he drove into the water to kill himself.
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A traffic stop led to a chase Thursday morning that ended in the Arkansas River.
Police were chasing a suspect in a traffic stop around Rebsamen Park on Riverfront Drive when the suspect decided to go into the river after driving around on the golf course.
Dispatchers told Channel 7 News that after the suspect drove into the river, the officer went in after him. The driver reportedly tried to swim away from the officer and they ended up on a sandbar where water rescue picked them up.
The suspect and officer were taken to a local hospital to get checked out. Both are expected to be fine.
The suspect was taken into custody but authorities have not released his name or what he was charged with.