Man dies in hospital after spending more than 40 minutes in Scioto River


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It was a repeat of something that happened over the weekend, but this time with a tragic outcome.

A man police say was wanted on some outstanding misdemeanor warrants for obstruction and soliciting, possibly just panhandling, was being chased by a police officer. He jumped into the water and was pulled out almost 45 minutes later in cardiac arrest. He died later that evening.

Police say he tried the same trick last weekend.

Mike Gieggio was working at the nearby boathouse restaurant when he watched it all happen right in front of him.

“I saw this young boy and he’s starting to run down these stairs,” said Gieggio while walking down said stairs. “He’s running down the stairs about 20 yards, the cop is chasing him.”

As it turns out, the boy is really a man.

His identity hasn’t been released, but police tell us he’s in his mid 30s.

“He started running faster than the cop could, so he’s running away from police,” said Gieggo.

Then, the man gets to the river.

And like he did over the weekend when he was being chased by police, he jumped in.

What he may not have known is how deep the water was.

Police tell us at the point he crossed, it drops straight down just a few feet from shore.

“He’s flopping his arms around and he went down a couple of times and he came back up and he’s flailing his arms and he went down one more time and he never came back,” Gieggo said.

He was in the water for nearly 45 minutes.

He was taken to Mt. Carmel West hospital in extremely critical condition but was pronounced dead about an hour and a half later. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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