Palm Bay police use boat to catch fleeing suspect

Man jumped into the Indian River to flee police, officials say

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PALM BAY, Fla. - Police caught a lift on a citizen's boat to pull a man from the waters of the Indian River Wednesday after officers said he fled from a traffic stop for speeding.

The suspect, identified as Hugh Kelly, 33, was charged with fleeing, violation of probation, driving with a suspended license, police reports show. He was taken to Palm Bay Hospital for a medical checkup before being taken back to the Police Department for holding, according to Local 6 News partner Florida Today.

The incident began about 8:41 a.m. Wednesday as Palm Bay Officer Randy Truitt stopped a driver on Bay Boulevard. Kelly, the driver, got out of the Chevy sport utility vehicle and ran from the officer, prompting a foot chase, reports show. Police said Kelly ran into river, jumped in and started swimming.

"He got out to about three-quarters of a mile," said Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for the Palm Bay Police Department. Officers spotted a citizen and asked to use his boat at the Palm Bay Marina, Martinez said.

The citizen gave the officers a lift and immediately went out to pull Kelly – described by police as exhausted – from the water.

"He was exhausted and was about to go under when our officers got to him," said Sgt. Steve Shytle in a statement. "At that point he surrendered."

Officers also determined that Kelly had a warrant for his arrest on traffic charges. He was also given a speeding ticket for $209 for traveling 64 mph in a 50 mph zone, reports show. Kelly will be turned over to the Brevard County Detention Center.

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