Man attempts to flee police by swimming away

Jerry Widner

Yesterday the Port Huron County Sheriff's office arrested a man after he attempted to swim away from the police.

It all started when Jerry D. Widner, age 49 of Port Austin, and another man drove a pickup truck into the Port Austin Harbor, police say.

The truck had no boat or trailer and was completely submerged.

When sheriff's deputy arrived, he found the two men trying to use a station wagon to pull the truck out of the harbor.

The deputy recognized the two men from past encounters. He also believed the men to be intoxicated.

Widner became agitated, police say, when the deputy confronted him.

Widner refused to follow instructions. He then took off his shirt and dove into the harbor.

He swam out into the harbor and began shouting obscenities to the deputy and another officer that had arrived.

Eventually, police say, Widner got cold or tired and returned to shore.

He was then arrested and placed in the back of the deputy's car.

That's when Widner then tried to kick out the back window of the vehicle.

At this point the Port Austin Police Chief, Dale Hartsnell, arrived and help further restrain Widner and took him to jail.

This morning Widner was arraigned in 73B District Court on charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct while intoxicated, misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, and felony destruction of police property. He remains in jail on a $10,000 bond.