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Police identify man who drowned near Park City while fleeing police

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, May 6, 2013, at 11:52 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, May 6, 2013, at 4:40 p.m.

The man who drowned in a pond near Park City while trying to flee from police is from Arkansas City, authorities said Monday.

Jeremy D. Horton, 30, jumped into a retention pond in the 6900 block of North Hydraulic shortly before 9:45 p.m. Saturday. He was fully submerged a short time later, Lt. Doug Nolte said, and police called for help – including a rescue boat and divers.

Divers retrieved Horton from the water about 45 minutes later. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:06 p.m.

Horton is reported to have walked into Rusty Eck Ford on East Kellogg shortly after 9:15 p.m. and was acting strangely, Nolte said. He had two knives clipped to his side, “and he was acting like he was going to pull those,” Nolte said.

Employees also thought he had something up his sleeve – perhaps an explosive device. He was asked to leave the business and police were called.

Officers tried to stop him in the parking lot, but he eluded them and a chase began that lasted about 20 minutes, Nolte said. Several attempts to stop the vehicle with stop strips were made, but Horton avoided them.

He drove into a field in the 6900 block of North Hydraulic and the vehicle became disabled, Nolte said. Horton got out of the vehicle and ran through the field before he jumped into the pond and swam away from shore.

Police did not follow him into the pond, Nolte said.

“We’re not trained to do rescue out of water,” he said.

In addition, Horton was considered armed due to the knives and possible explosive device. He refused numerous commands to come out of the water and surrender, Nolte said. He sank after being in the water for several minutes.

A water rescue team and bomb squad were called to the scene. No explosive device was found on Horton’s body, Nolte said.

Records show Horton was the defendant in a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday in Cowley County District Court. He was charged with possession of methamphetamine, aggravated endangerment of a child and felony theft.

Cowley County Deputy Attorney Larry Schwartz said Horton was arrested on March 27 at his house in Arkansas City and accused of using meth with three children in the house: girls ages 9, 4 and 3.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

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