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Brian Martin attempted to swim towards Sand Island to elude officers, was ultimately taken into custody

A man attempting to evade law enforcement in St. Helens tried to swim from the city docks to Sand Island on Tuesday to avoid arrest.

Law enforcement eventually took Brian Martin, 41, of Clatskanie, into custody on Tuesday, July 30.

At 1:31 p.m. officers attempted to take Martin into custody on a parole and probation detainer in St. Helens. Sgt. Jose Castilleja with St. Helens Police Department said officers tried to initiate a traffic stop, when he fled the scene driving in a reckless manner, but did not continue to pursue him. Shortly afterward, officers saw Martin run down the St. Helens city docks and jump into the Columbia River and start swimming towards Sand Island.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office deployed two marine vessels to assist SHPD to reach Martin. Columbia City Police, Columbia Community Corrections, Clark County Fire and Rescue, Scappoose Fire District, and Columbia River Fire and Rescue responded.

When officers reached Martin in the water, he refused to get on board, but law enforcement provided him with a personal flotation device and began negotiations with him before he ultimately surrended, a press release from SHPD explained. Martin was in the water for nearly an hour-and-a-half.

When Martin arrived on shore with officers, he attempted to flee again, but was taken into custody and transported to a Portland hospital for evaluation.

SHPD Sgt. Jose Castilleja said Martin will likely face charges for reckless driving and attempting to elude officers, and may face other charges as well.

— Nicole Thill-Pacheco


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