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Search resumes for man reportedly swept away in Arkansas River

Authorities search the Little Arkansas River just west of the Nims Street Bridge for a person who fled from police Thursday night.
Authorities search the Little Arkansas River just west of the Nims Street Bridge for a person who fled from police Thursday night. The Wichita Eagle

Authorities on Thursday scoured the Arkansas River for a man reportedly swept away after jumping in the water as he fled police.

The search resumed Friday morning for the man.

Wichita police Lt. Dan East said an officer stopped the man for a traffic infraction about 9:30 p.m. and was speaking with him outside of his vehicle when he ran north toward nearby apartment complexes along the Little Arkansas River.

The man then “jumped into the water” north of Central and west of Waco, near Central Riverside Park, and disappeared, East said.

A Sedgwick County dispatcher said the officer called for crews to respond for a submersion around 10:15 p.m.

Police reportedly lost sight of the man near the Nims Avenue Bridge near Central, according to emergency scanner traffic. Witnesses near the Keeper of the Plains on Thursday told authorities they saw a person going over the low-water dam there around 10:30 p.m., but East said those reports may be inaccurate.

Wichita fire crews deployed boats and divers late Thursday to aid in the search, according to dispatch. Police stationed at several locations along the river also looked for the man, while paramedics stood by.

Authorities called off the search shortly after midnight, East said. It resumed in the morning.

He added that police “tried to follow up on any other places he might have gone” but did not find the man.

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