A man was arrested by Alameda County sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday evening after he tried to evade them by swimming away in the Oakland Estuary. The incident began at about 5:40 p.m. when deputies spotted a car that had been reported stolen in the Jack London Aquatic Center parking lot at 115 Embarcadero in Oakland.
When the car left the parking lot, deputies attempted to pull it over, but the driver, later identified as 38-year-old Terry Rizzo, did not stop and instead continued driving east on Embarcadero, according to the sheriff’s office. Rizzo drove about 75 yards before running into a UPS truck, sheriff’s officials said. The UPS driver was not injured. Rizzo and a passenger exited the vehicle and attempted to run.
The passenger was quickly detained, but Rizzo managed to get away, heading west on Embarcadero and into the estuary, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies set up a perimeter as Rizzo swam from the estuary’s west shore to the east shore. When he got to the eastern shore, Rizzo fled south onto vacant land owned by the Port of Oakland, according to officials. He then dove back into the estuary and swam to a sailboat just off shore, which he boarded.
A short time later, Rizzo surrendered without incident, according to sheriff’s officials. Oakland police K-9 and marine units and an East Bay Regional Park District police helicopter assisted, as well as personnel from AC Transit. No injuries were reported. Rizzo had two outstanding warrants for his arrest, for car and petty thefts. Deputies also found a small amount of methamphetamine in his possession. He was booked into the Glenn Dyer Detention Facility for the warrants and for possession of a stolen vehicle, vehicle theft, hit-and-run, and evading and obstructing police. Rizzo is being held on $126,200 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Friday.
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