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UPDATE: Search Called Off For Man Who Jumped Into River

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UPDATE: Friday, May 31, 2013

UPDATE: The search has been called off due to river conditions and due to the start of the Wichita River Festival.

Wichita Fire water rescuers searched the area of the Little Arkansas River where a 38 year old man was last seen. Fire Captain Mark Dewey says their sonar didn't detect any body in the river upstream from the Central street spillway.

Police say the man was pulled over by an officer Thursday evening in the 400 block of west Central for driving without his lights on. The officer then suspected the man was driving under the influence and did a field sobriety test. But just as the officer was about to arrest the man, he fled and jumped into the nearby river.

Police don't believe the man could have escaped the water without being seen by police and fire officers.

Officers walked the banks of the Arkansas river to the Lincoln street dam Friday afternoon until the search was called off at 2:30 pm.

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Police say there's still no sign of a man who ran from officers into the Little Arkansas River Thursday night.

Crews resumed the search this morning, in what they're now calling a recovery operation.

It began last night near Broadway and Murdock when an officer noticed a vehicle pull away from a QuikTrip without its headlights on. The officer pulled the car over, and believing the driver was intoxicated, asked him to step out for a sobriety test.

The man got out of the car and ran. The officer lost him for a short time, then saw him in the Little Arkansas River. He told the suspect to swim back, but he refused shortly before being swept away.

Police say the river flow was stronger than usual due to the recent rains, and have no reason to believe the 38-year-old man is still alive.

KAKE News will continue to track the story and update as any new information becomes available.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wichita police say a man is missing after he jumped into the Arkansas River while fleeing from officers.

Emergency responders searched the river until midnight Thursday before calling off the effort. The search was expected to begin again Friday.

Wichita police Lt. Dan East said an officer stopped the man for a traffic violation Thursday evening. The man was talking to the officer outside his vehicle and then ran off, before jumping into the river and disappearing.

Wichita fire crews used boats and divers to help with the search, while police stationed at several locations along the river also looked for the man.


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