Sunday, July 21, 2019 Medina 81°

Cops & Courts

Man drowns during foot chase; Lodi police seek identification


LODI — The body of an unknown man was found Sunday morning in the Black River after fleeing from police earlier Sunday morning.

Lodi Police Chief Keith Keough said Sunday afternoon that police received a dispatch call from a South Market Street resident about 1 a.m. regarding a man going through vehicles in the area.

A Lodi police officer and Medina County sheriff’s deputy responded to the call.

“When they arrived in the area, they saw the subject and the subject ran off,” Keough said.

Keough said during the foot pursuit, the suspect dropped items that police believe could have been taken from vehicles.

“Basically, they followed his tracks in the snow and they had visual on him and then they lost visual and they gained visual on him again,” he said.

The pursuit led officers to Lisa Court mobile home park off Medina Street, where the suspect went over a ledge and into Lodi Community Park, near the East Fork of the Black River.

“At some point, they saw him in the water; his head was above water,” Keough said. “They attempted to get him to come to shore.”

Keough said the river was high and rough due to the amount of recent rainfall.

“He grabs a branch and shortly thereafter he lets go of the branch, and they see him go below the waterline and they lose sight of him,” Keough said.

The Lodi Fire Department and Medina Swift Water Rescue team were called in to search the river and its banks.

“The search went on until approximately 8 a.m., when they found the body entangled in a tree that had fallen across the river,” Keough said.

The Medina County Coroner’s Office then took possession of the body.

Keough said police are trying to figure out the man’s identity.

“We have no idea who he is,” he said. “We followed a number of leads this morning that did not pan out.”

Keough said the unknown man did not have any form of identification on him, and police have made a Facebook post seeking more information.

The man was wearing black jogging pants, a long sleeve nylon shirt and black hoodie with red stripe at the time of his death, Keough said.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner

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