Cops: Man jumps into Central Florida lake during chase

Chilly temps aid in man's capture, deputies say

Author: Mark Lehman, Photographer-Reporter, mlehman@wkmg.com
Published On: Jan 03 2014 07:05:00 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 03 2014 03:19:24 PM EST
Cops: Man jumps into Central Florida lake during chase
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -

A man who deputies say cut off his GPS-monitoring bracelet was pulled from a lake early Friday after he led a chase in a stolen SUV through Seminole County, according to officials.

[RAW VIDEO:  Chopper captures chase]

Deputies said they first spotted the stolen Dodge Durango around 2:15 a.m. and tried to pull it over, but the driver, later identified by the Sminole County Sheriff's Office as 30-year-old Bernard Lawson, of Sanford, sped off near the intersection of Bennett Drive and North Street in Altamonte Springs.

Deputies said they used Stop Sticks to disable the SUV after a brief pursuit.  Lawson then abandoned the vehicle and ran into a nearby lake to avoid capture, according to deputies.

With high winds and temperatures in the low 50s at the time, deputies said Lawson gave up and turned himself in within minutes. 

Lawson faces charges of grand theft, fleeing and eluding, driving on a suspended license, resisting an officer and possession of marijuana.

A passenger who was inside the SUV during the pursuit will not be charged, deputies said.