Suspected burglar tries swimming away from cops

Man does backstroke as deputies close in


MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Brevard County Sheriff's deputies are used to suspected burglars running from them, but rarely do they try to get away doing the backstroke.

Patrick Russell Brennan, 32, is accused of breaking into a home off North Tropical Trail. As deputies arrived, investigators say Brennan jumped off a boat dock into the Indian River and began swimming away.

Video from the Brevard County sheriff's helicopter shows Brennan swimming alongside a patrol boat as deputies tried to capture him.

"I'm not a doctor, but I would suggest that he was probably really high on something," said John Robinson, the man who called 911 to report the suspicious man in his neighborhood. "He was not acting right."

Robinson said Brennan backed his car up into a driveway where no one was home and then ran into the backyard.  Brennan, who was carrying a pocket knife, broke into the home, according to deputies.

When members of the Brevard County Sheriff's Marine Unit plucked Brennan out of the water, he told them he was in the area helping an acquaintance fix a broken screened porch.

"All of a sudden I was getting swarmed by helicopters, boats. I've never done anything wrong in my whole life," said Brennan as deputies handcuffed him. "I'm slightly dyslexic. I'm so hot. I'm dehydrated."

Before he could fully dry off, Brennan had been booked into the Brevard County jail on charges of armed burglary and resisting arrest.

Robinson said he picked the wrong neighborhood to burglarize.

"Everybody knows everybody," said Robinson. "We know each other when we're leaving and all that stuff. It was probably about as dumb a thing you could do, come on this street," said Robinson.