A woman living in an apartment complex near the Briggs Community Branch YMCA off Yelm Highway called police after seeing a man dressed in black standing outside her window around 6:30 a.m., said Olympia police spokeswoman Laura Wohl.
An officer started to search the area and saw a man matching the description.
“He pulled over and motioned the guy over,” Wohl said. “He came over to talk to him, and the officer was preparing to pat him down when he took off running.”
The man jumped into Hewitt Lake and swam under overhanging brush out of the officer’s view.
Ken Stanton and his family have lived off Hewitt Lake since 2010 and were confused to see police lights outside their front door.
“A police officer started walking around the side of the house,” Stanton said. “I went out onto my deck and saw he was in our backyard.”
Stanton learned of the man the police were pursuing and offered his family’s boat for them to use.
“We have a dock that is the same as a boat – a big plastic thing that is like a dock, but I tie it up and it’s got an electric motor on it,” Stanton said.
Stanton said the officers used his boat to maneuver over to the man hiding in the overhanging brush and pull him from the water.
“By this time he was severely hypothermic and couldn’t help himself,” Wohl said.
East Olympia firefighters treated the man at the scene. He was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital.
“The guy was up to his nose in the lake and even the one cop told us he would have been in a world of hurt if they hadn’t been able to pull him out onto the boat,” Stanton said. The lake is fed by an artesian well, Stanton said “It’s probably a good 45 degrees – pretty close to the temperature of Puget Sound right now.”
The man, believed to be in his 30s, had not been identified.
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