By The Canadian Press
GRAND FORKS, B.C. — An American man is in custody after police allege he illegally jumped the border then tried to evade officers by floating down a river in British Columbia.
The RCMP say in a news release that officers in Grand Forks, B.C., arrested the Washington state man after he led police on a 2 1/2-hour “float chase” down the Kettle River.
The Mounties say they were advised by the Stevens Country Sheriff’s Office in the early hours of Friday morning that a stolen vehicle had entered Canada illegally at the closed Port Cascade border.
They say U.S. officials deployed a spike belt but the suspect continued to drive, ramming through barriers at the border before dumping the vehicle and fleeing on foot into Canada.
Later that day, the man was spotted returning to the abandoned vehicle but officers say he resisted arrest and jumped in the river.
They say RCMP officers tracked the man by walking along the riverbank and wading into the water where it narrowed, escorting the man to shore along with the help of some Good Samaritans.
The man was turned over to the Canada Border Service Agency Saturday.
RCMP say they are working with border officials on possible charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.
“This was an exceptional response from many involved including the Grand Forks and Midway officers who tracked the male for 2.5 hours, the Grand Forks Fire Department, BC Emergency Health Services and local search and rescue personnel,” Sgt. Sergeant Darryl Peppler says in the release.
“We would like to thank the Good Samaritans who assisted us in helping to safely escort this male to shore where he could be taken into custody.”