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Police rescue fleeing Redmond teen who jumped in canal


A 16-year-old Redmond boy who escaped from a Prineville treatment center ran from Redmond police Sunday night, jumped into an irrigation canal and swam away, officers said.

He soon avoided a “catch rope” they placed across the canal and fought with officers who eventually were able to get him out of the water before the canal reached a dangerous spillway.

Around 9:30 p.m., officers responded to the 3600 block of Southwest Canal Boulevard for the teen, who was wanted for escaping from Rimrock Adolescent Treatment Center, said Lt. Jesse Petersen.

Officers soon found the boy, but he ran and jumped into the canal to escape, Petersen said in a news release.

As the juvenile approached the canal spillway on the south side of Greens Boulevard, Redmond police, joined by Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies and Oregon State Police, performed an impromptu water rescue, Petersen said. That included placing a “catch rope” across the canal for the teen to grab, to prevent him from going down the turbulent spillway.

However, the teen tried to go under the catch rope, at which point a Redmond officer got into the canal, to keep the teen from going down the spillway.

Petersen said the juvenile “actively fought the officer” trying to get him out of the water, but other officers assisted and were able to get the boy out of the canal before he reached the spillway.

Along with the warrant for his arrest, the teen now faces charges of third-degree escape, resisting arrest, interfering with a police officer and second-degree criminal trespass, Petersen said.

Petersen said police want to remind the community that canals have a high flow during the spring and summer, with several “hazardous spillways, which pose a danger for people and animals.” Also, he said, the canal is private property, owned by the Central Oregon Irrigation District, and people can be arrested for trespassing in the area or the canal.

Redmond police thanked sheriff’s deputies and OSP for their assistance in the incident.

“We value human life and will take all steps necessary to make all of our community feel safe,” Petersen wrote. If you or a loved one are in need of mental health or addiction assistance, “there are resources, such as Deschutes County Behavioral Health, out there to help you get through the difficult times.” They can be reached at 541-322-7500.

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