Suspected truck thief jumps in canal, backstrokes to escape Port Orange police

Ray Norris, 40, faces charges of grand theft and criminal mischief

ORLANDO, Fla. – An accused truck thief was arrested on Thursday after fleeing from Port Orange police into a nearby canal, according to the police department.

In a release, police said that officers tried to pull over a truck that was towing a trailer, though the truck instead fled after letting a passenger out.

Detectives said that the truck had been reported stolen out of Sumter County, while the trailer was reported stolen out of Lake County.

Eventually, the truck pulled into the south end of Buschman Park near Commonwealth Boulevard, driving through a locked gate and onto a walking path — nearly striking a person on the path, the release shows.

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Police said that the truck continued to flee until the path ended, which is where the driver crashed the truck and ran off on foot.

The driver, 40-year-old Ray Norris, jumped into a canal nearby and began swimming away from police, prompting a chase as officers ran after him along the shore, police added.

Body camera video shows Norris swimming through the water as law enforcement orders him to come out.

“He is backstroking right now northbound in the canal,” an officer can be heard saying.

Police were ultimately able to remove Norris from the canal, and he was taken into custody, the video shows.

According to investigators, the passenger that had been let out of the truck — later identified as Christopher Norris, 40 — was arrested at a nearby shopping plaza.

Ray Norris (left) and Christopher Norris (right) (Volusia County Jail)

Ray Norris faces charges of grand theft, resisting an officer without violence, fleeing law enforcement and criminal mischief. Meanwhile, Christopher Norris faces charges of resisting an officer without violence, trespassing and violation of probation.

Both men are held on no bond.

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