Lights & Sirens

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Bystanders help rescue man in water on Tideflats

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on June 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
June 26, 2013 9:56 pm

Workers on the Tacoma Tideflats helped rescue a young man early Wednesday who appeared to be swimming in the area, according to Tacoma Fire.

Crews got a report about 6:30 a.m. of a man in the water near the 800 block of Portland Avenue. The swimmer, who police said is 18, had already been helped out of the water by the workers when emergency teams arrived, Deputy Fire Chief Jolene Davis said.

Firefighters took the man to St. Joseph Medical Center, where was is stable condition late Wednesday.

It’s not entirely clear why the young man had been in the water.

“You don’t really just swim out there,” Davis said. “It’s kind of unusual.”

The teen is a transient who gave officers a convoluted account of the events that led him to the Tideflats, Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said. The young man said he had been drinking with a friend who proceeded to rob him, though it’s not clear where that happened.

He said he ran away when he was chased by people driving vehicles and carrying guns, and that he jumped in the water to flee.

Officers did not find evidence to support that account, Cool said.

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