PAINESVILLE, Ohio (CNN Newsource) – An early Tuesday morning chase in Ohio was caught on camera. In moments, police went from racing after a wanted man to rescuing him after he flipped his car into a pond.
Dashcam video shows a Painesville police cruiser chasing a driver who they say ran a red light.
“It was very clear he was going to evade the officer. When the officer ran the tag, he found out the individual, in fact, had a warrant for a probation violation,” said Painesville Police Chief Dan Waterman.
Waterman says 32-year-old Michael Clemens, of Hamden, was wanted for a prior OVI. In this case, he was speeding and running multiple stop signs.
The chase, lasting about three minutes, came to a frightening end.
“The officers went from pursuers to rescuers in a matter of seconds,” Waterman said.
That’s because Clemens lost control of his car on a grassy area.
The video shows he ended up flipping the car forward, landing upside down in a pond.
Three officers jumped out of their cars and into the water.
They unlocked the passenger door and rescued a woman but it was a challenge getting to Clemens. Time was not on their side.
As the tires were going under, one of the officers grabbed Clemens.
“He was able to just barely get his hands on the male’s head and realized he wasn’t going to get a better grip on him, and had to pull him out head first,” Waterman said.
He says if it weren’t 3 a.m. in an industrial area with three officers to pull off the rescue, the outcome could’ve been tragic.
“That officer had to take the female to shore himself. No way would he have time to turn around and then save the male. We would’ve lost someone for sure.”
Clemens pleaded not guilty to a number of charges, including failure to comply and driving without a license.