WILBUR, Wash. – Lincoln County Deputies said a man led them on a car chase that turned into a three hour swim-standoff before they were able to arrest him Thursday morning.
Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers posted on Facebook that a deputy was working traffic control in Wilbur when he caught a vehicle speeding. The deputy tried to stop the driver, later identified as Justin T. Gentmann, on Highway 2 but was unsuccessful. For safety reasons, the deputy stopped pursuing Gentmann. However, a couple deputies and a state trooper remained in the area to continue to look for the suspect. Lincoln County Dispatch notified Keller Ferry and asked them to be on the lookout for the suspect vehicle.
A short time later, Magers said Gentmann’s vehicle was located at the ferry landing waiting to catch a ride across the Columbia River. As the deputies approached, Gentmann ran onto the ferry while screaming derogatory words and ended up jumping into the Columbia River to avoid arrest.
Officials tried to catch him for about three hours on the water. Eventually, a law enforcement boat tossed Gentmann a rope, towing him toward a docking area according to Magers. Gentmann let go and swam to shore to further avoid arrest. When he reached shore, there was a one-hour verbal standoff before he was arrested.
Gentmann was booked into the Lincoln County Jail on felony charges.