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Through a collaborative effort, deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol arrested a man on Tuesday
who went through great measures, including jumping into the Hillsborough River, to try to evade law enforcement.
Just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23
, an HCSO detective driving an unmarked Chevrolet Impala was rear ended by a gray Mustang while he was stopped at a traffic light on Bruce B Downs Boulevard, just south of Commerce Palms Boulevard.
The detective made contact with the driver, Jack Knapper (W/M, DOB: 02/17/1976
), instructing him to pull over for a traffic crash investigation. Knapper did not pull over. He instead fled the scene. Shortly after, a citizen called HCSO to report that they had witnessed the crash and followed the fleeing Mustang to I-75, just north of the Fletcher Avenue exit.
The witness observed Knapper exit the Mustang and run west into a heavily wooded area before entering the Hillsborough River. Once Knapper was located in the water with the help of the HCSO Aviation Unit, an FHP trooper and HCSO deputy jumped into the Hillsborough River and escorted Knapper out of the water safely to make an arrest.
Knapper was charged with Leaving the Scene of a Crash, Fleeing to Elude, Driving without a Valid License and Resisting Arrest without Violence. Knapper could face a possible DUI charge as well. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital to get checked for exhaustion after fleeing and swimming in the water to evade law enforcement.
"We couldn't have asked for a better outcome in this case. Our HCSO deputies and FHP troopers worked together seamlessly to take a dangerous driver off of the road and take him into custody without anyone getting hurt," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Criminals don't care about county lines or whose jurisdiction they are in, so it's up to us as law enforcement officers to work as a team to keep our communities safe. I'm proud to say we did just that."