WICHITA, Kan. -- A Wichita man was arrested early Saturday morning after leading police on a high-speed chase, crashing his motorcycle, and then jumping into the Arkansas River.
At about 12:20 a.m. Saturday, a Sedgwick County Sheriff's Deputy tried to pull the motorcyclist over near 55th Street South and Broadway for a traffic violation. The motorcyclist immediately took off and kicked off a high-speed pursuit, Lt. Jason Gill said.
The chase went through the Plainview area, then north on Hillside up to 17th Street, and then came back south on Waco. The chase reached speeds of 100 MPH and over, Gill said.
After the 18-minute chase, the motorcyclist crashed his bike on a hill behind Century II and jumped in the river, Gill said. After a very short time in the water, the motorcyclist swam back to the bank where the deputies where waiting to take him into custody. Given the cold temperatures, he was taken to the hospital for observation, Gill said.
It does not appear the man has any outstanding warrants, Gill said.
Deputies say they allowed the chase to continue in part because traffic was light, the man was on a motorcycle rather than in a vehicle, and there was no passenger on the motorcycle.
"As law enforcement in your county and in your city, we have an obligation, we feel like, to take these people seriously. We also take the risks seriously. We weigh those throughout every second of the pursuits," Gill said. "We don't want these people to think they can get away simply by trying. But if we think it's not safe, we won't chase them."
Gill says this pursuit was the third high-speed chase in the past 24 hours for the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department.