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Drunk Driving Surfer Dives Into Cold Ocean, Successfully Evades Cops, They Say

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Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 7:09 AM

click to enlarge Pacific Beach at night. - MOOMINSEAN
  • moominsean
  • Pacific Beach at night.
Here's one way to avoid the DUI dance:

With cops on your tail, drive to the edge of America, get out of your car, and dive into the ocean. (Seriously, don't try this at home, kids).

It appeared to work for a 28-year-old suspect in San Diego yesterday morning. Any drunk-driving case against him is toast.

He got away, but not, apparently, scot-free:

Because the suspect was in 58 degree water, with up to 5 foot surf, the operation went from a San Diego police stop to a serious search-and-rescue, authorities tell us.

Fortunately for the dude, he turned up (not so) high and (somewhat) dry, family members informed cops. But they still want to talk to the unidentified water whiz. Det. Gary L. Hassen of the SDPD told the Weekly:

Somewhere during the course of early morning he surfaced and called family to say he's okay.

Whew. A cold, pre-dawn swim with cops on your tail, a U.S. Coast Guard chopper overhead and local lifeguard boats looking for your wet ass? That's got to be the ultimate hangover relief.

Friends said he's a surfer (of course), according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, so no sweat.

The paper reported that the search was called off about 5:45 a.m.

The onetime suspect entered the water at the foot of Grand Avenue in Pacific Beach, just south of Crystal Pier, shortly after officers in the area tried to pull him over by "lighting him up," as police say, at 2:34 a.m. Tuesday, according Hassen:


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We were going to pull him over but he drove to a parking lot, ran into the water and swam out to sea.

(That's a statement every beer-drinking surfer bro just saluted with a high five).

Since police were ultimately unable to conduct a field sobriety test, he got away with the potential DUI: "That's the truth," Hassen said.

But now the man has other problems, including potential allegations of "evading police, refusing a lawful order form an officer," Hassen said:

We're still waiting to have a polite conversation.

One more thing the man might have to face:

"Cost recovery" for the search, Hassen tells us. We hear that U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crews are quite expensive to deploy.

Worth it? You be the judge.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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