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Man Arrested After Fleeing Police Into Palo Alto Creek, Nearly Drowning

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Palo Alto police arrested Lee James Daniels after he fled into a creek. (Bay City News)

Palo Alto police arrested Lee James Daniels after he fled into a creek. (Bay City News)

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PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — A man fleeing from police jumped into a Palo Alto creek on Tuesday but nearly drowned and was rescued by a pursuing officer, police said Friday.

The officer recognized the man, identified as Lee James Daniels, a 53-year-old Menlo Park resident who had warrants for a probation violation and giving false information to police, riding a bicycle on Embarcadero Road near East Bayshore Road at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

Daniels allegedly rode away from the officer and into an office complex in the 1700 block of Embarcadero Road and the pursuing officer found his abandoned bicycle there.

Officers swarmed the area looking for the suspect and eventually spotted him on a levee behind the Baylands Athletic Center. With police running after him, Daniels jumped into San Francisquito Creek and tried to swim to East Palo Alto, according to police.

But about halfway across, he went below the water and didn’t come back up. An officer feared Daniels was drowning and jumped into the creek and helped him to shore, police said.

Once safely on the side of the creek, police said Daniels still refused to come out and the fire department had to hoist him up the steep embankment on the side of the creek.

Daniels was booked into Santa Clara County Jail for the warrants and on suspicion of resisting arrest, police said.

Anyone with information about the case has been asked to call Palo Alto police at (650) 329-2413.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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