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Man Who Evaded Capture Jumping in River Caught

Middletown Police say 22-year-old who leaped into Connecticut River at Harbor Park Sept. 4 during pursuit was arrested Friday at home on outstanding warrants.

The 22-year-old city man whom police say jumped into the Connecticut River to evade capture at Harbor Park Sept. 4 has been caught.

On Friday at 9:30 a.m., Middletown Officers Robert Kraeger and David Woolard traveled to Brandon Drake’s home on Saybrook Road  to serve four outstanding warrants. According to the report, Kraeger saw Drake inside through a window and ordered him to surrender. 

Drake was reportedly involved in two domestic-related incidents in Middletown with the same female victim on July 21 and Aug, 23. Both times, police say, Drake fled before officers arrived.

On Sept. 4 at 2:56 a.m., the arrest report states, Drake was seen walking on DeKoven Drive by Officer Frederick Dirga, who knew of his outstanding warrants. Drake fled as Dirga chased him across train tracks toward Route 9. Police say Drake ran across the south and northbound lanes of the highway, causing cars to make emergency stops to avoid collisions. 

Dirga pursued Drake into the Harbor Park area, where he allegedly climbed over a fence and onto a dock, continued to run southbound with officers pursuing him on foot parallel to the fence. When Drake became winded and stopped, the report states, Dirga commanded him to surrender and made attempts to apprehend him. 

To avoid capture, the report says, Drake jumped into the Connecticut River and swam east toward the center. Police and Fire rescue units searched the river for Drake unsuccessfully. At 5:20 a.m. officers went to Drake’s mother’s home on Saybrook Road to notify her. There, the report says, she told police she recently had contact with Drake and he was safe. 

She called Drake and allowed officers to speak with him. He told officers he was safe but would not disclose his location. At that point, the report states, officers were convinced that Drake was no longer in the Connecticut River. The rescue search was called off. 

Two counts second-degree failure to appear, second-degree threatening, third-degree assault, risk of injury, interfering with an officer and disorderly conduct.

Drake is being held on a $120,000 bond.

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