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Leesburg man checked out for hypothermia after hiding in canal to evade arrest

David Austin Williams
David Austin Williams

A Leesburg man jumped into a canal to try to avoid arrest after law enforcement officers were called to a Lake Eustis neighborhood in Tavares.

A resident of the 1200 Lake Shore Boulevard neighborhood called the Tavares Police Department on Saturday night to report a suspicious man, later identified as 34-year-old David Austin Williams, walking through the area. The caller indicated that the man appeared to be “uneasy on his feet like he was intoxicated,” according to the arrest report.

When the man was approached by a Tavares police officer, he refused to talk to the officer and fled on his bicycle. When a second patrol car arrived on the scene, Williams hid on the banks of a canal. When he was approached by the officers, he jumped into the canal and refused to come out.

Tavares Fire Rescue as well as Lake EMS arrived on the scene to aid police. After a 30-minute standoff, Williams finally emerged from the canal.

He was taken to AdventHealth Waterman by Lake EMS to be checked out for the risk of hypothermia. He was found to be in possession of several small bags of methamphetamine as well as a false ID. A records check showed Williams was wanted on a Lake County warrant charging him wth a probation violation.

He was booked without bond at the Lake County Jail.

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