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Body found in Little Arkansas River confirmed as man who fled from police

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, June 3, 2013, at 11:45 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, June 3, 2013, at 11:48 a.m.

The body found in the Little Arkansas River on Sunday afternoon is that of the man who ran from police following a traffic stop Thursday night and jumped into the river in an attempt to escape, authorities confirmed Monday.

Identification and tattoos on the body confirmed that the victim is Kenneth Zabienski, 38, of Wichita, Lt. Doug Nolte said.

Zabienski had been pulled over shortly after 9:45 p.m. Thursday after he left the QuikTrip parking lot at Broadway and Murdock without turning on his headlights and then drove so erratically that a patrol officer was concerned that he was intoxicated, police have said.

The officer made the traffic stop in the 400 block of West Central and conducted a field sobriety test on Zabienski. He failed the test and broke free as the officer attempted to take him into custody. He ran between two apartment complexes next to the river and the officer lost sight of him for a short time before he spotted him in the Little Arkansas River.

The officer ordered Zabienski to come out of the water but he refused, police have said. The officer called for a water rescue team. Zabienski sank below the surface after 10 to 15 minutes and was not found until about 4:30 p.m. Sunday when someone called 911 to report seeing what appeared to be a body in the water.

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

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