You shouldn't swim the cold Kansas River in January even if you're trying to get away from police an El Paso, Tex., man and his Kansas City, Kan., companion found out Saturday.
The two men were being chased by Lawrence police in connection with a car theft in Kansas City, Mo. when they jumped into the river, police Sgt. Ron Dalquest said. They later got out of the water, surrendered to police and were taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital to be treated for hyphothermia.
Dalquest said the men are charged in connection with a car theft that occurred at 12:15 p.m. Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.
He said the men were spotted in the car, a 1981 white Buick sedan, when they drove through the East Lawrence Interchange of the Kansas Turnpike without paying the toll.
A Lawrence police officer saw the vehicle pull behind the Lawrence Battery Co., 903 N. Second, and saw the men park the car and begin walking. When the officer yelled at the two men to stop, they ran over the levee and to the river bank, Dalquest said.
The El Paso man told his companion to swim the river south toward Burcham Park when the officer and other police officers converged on them at the river, Dalquest said. Although officers warned the men the water was too cold, the men both jumped in anyway, Dalquest said.
The Kansas City man came back almost immediately, but the El Paso man swam about halfway before returning, Dalquest said. The men were arrested about 1:15 p.m. and were being held Saturday in Douglas County Jail on charges related to the car theft.