Florida man nearly escapes police by jumping into canal — until he swallows algae: 'I'm going to die!'

Police shower suspect with a hose after he swallows algae in a video captured by a local resident

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 07 September 2018 00:59 BST
Green algae is seen in the St. Lucie River near Phipps Park on 13 July 2018 in Stuart, Florida
Green algae is seen in the St. Lucie River near Phipps Park on 13 July 2018 in Stuart, Florida (Getty Images)

A historic algae bloom in Florida has caused environmental destruction — and seriously hindered one police suspect's attempt to escape from law enforcement.

Abraham Duarte was allegedly attempting to run from police officers after being caught speeding, when he made a last ditch effort to lose them by diving into a canal. The wild move might have worked — had the suspect not succumbed to a dose of algae he ingested while swimming away from land.

The police officers demanded the suspect swim back to shore, where they dragged him out of the water, handcuffed him and showered him off with a hose.

The scene was captured by local resident Scott Turner, who began recording the situation when he saw Mr Duarte running towards the canal.

The suspect jumped into the water in front of Mr Turner’s boat, as police rushed after him, ordering him to swim to the edge of the water.

"I’m going to die!" Mr Duarte shouted from inside the canal, after having apparently swallowed a large gulp of water filled with algae.

"Nobody was going to jump," Mr Turner told reporters about the police officers who arrived on the scene, describing the altercation as "entertaining" to watch.

Though it may have proven useful in this event, Florida’s algae bloom has caused significant damage to the coastline’s aquatic life and ecosystem.

The algae bloom, called a "red tide," has stretched over nine months — significantly longer than the annual average of approximately three to five months — and has become a health problem for humans, with respiratory irritation reported in at least six counties across the state.

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