A Sarasota County man tried to avoid cops by jumping into a lake. He didn’t know how to swim

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies had to rescue a Nokomis man from a lake after he jumped into the water trying to avoid talking to them.

At about 11 a.m. Friday, deputies responded to a report of suspicious activity near the intersection of Burnt Branch Circle and Greystone Lane in the Forest Creek subdivision in Sarasota when they spotted 18-year-old Richard Garay getting into a van, according to a news release. When the deputies tried to approach Garay to talk to him, he ran and jumped into the nearby lake instead.

Garay swam to the middle of the lake, but then began to struggle staying above the water. The deputies rescued Garay from the lake and later arrested him on outstanding warrants for charges of obstruction without violence and contempt of court.

“The safety of our citizens is a priority, regardless of circumstance,” Sheriff Tom Knight said in a statement. “These deputies acted quickly and selflessly to render aid to someone who has a complete disregard for law enforcement. Unfortunately incidents like this happen all too often but this is what we train for.”

Garay admitted to the deputies that he jumped into the lake in an attempt to avoid arrest because of the warrants and that he didn’t know how to swim, according to the sheriff’s office.