Two Buffalo men were arrested early Monday morning after they fled police, drove their car into Ellicott Creek and tried to swim away from officers, according to the City of Tonawanda Police Department.
Ernest B. Green Jr., 37, and Daniel Rodriguez, 36, were arrested on several charges after a traffic stop became a police pursuit which resulted in Green driving a 2006 Chevrolet Impala into Ellicott Creek behind the Anerald Boat Club, 137 Young St., Capt. Frederic Foels said.
Green and Rodriguez both bailed out of the vehicle before it entered the water, where it would become submerged, police said. The pair tried to flee officers by swimming to the other side, but struggled in the 17-foot depths, police said. Officers on the other side of the creek threw them ropes and helped them out of the water at the Inner Harbor Yacht Club, where both were taken into custody.
Green, who police said had 10 suspensions on his license, was charged with felonies of second-degree criminal mischief and aggravated unlicensed operation as well as fleeing a police officer, obstructing governmental administration and 19 traffic charges. Rodriguez was charged with resisting arrest and second-degree obstructing governmental administration.
The original traffic stop, which was for alleged speeding, began at Kohler and Erie streets. Police said that when the officer exited his patrol vehicle, the Impala fled the scene, north on Kohler, and then east on Fletcher Street. Instead of turning on Young, where Fletcher ends, the car went straight across the road, into and through the parking lot of the Anerald Boat Club and down an embankment into Ellicott Creek.
Both Green and Rodriguez ran along the embankment before jumping into the creek, police said.
Police divers located the submerged vehicle and were looking for an object that was reportedly thrown in the water by Green. The car was pulled out of Ellicott Creek before midnight.
Green and Rodriguez were to be arraigned in Tonawanda City Court Monday.