Kansas City authorities began a rescue operation Thursday evening for a man who jumped into Brush Creek while fleeing police and was not seen resurfacing.
Officers attempted to make contact with the man based on reports from earlier in the afternoon about a domestic disturbance nearby, said Sgt. Jake Becchina, a spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department. Several calls were made to police that a man with a gun was causing a disturbance in the Eastwood Hills East neighborhood.
When the man saw officers pull up in their patrol vehicle, Becchina said, he immediately started to run.
An officer chasing the man on foot saw him get into the northern end of the creek near Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and Cleveland Avenue around 6:30 p.m., Becchina said. The officer then began removing body equipment to swim after him, he said.
The man soon began to struggle against the water, according to Becchina. Becchina said the officer swam out but was unable to reach him before he fell below the surface.
Fire trucks and police vehicles maintained a heavy presence late into the evening as emergency crews searched for the missing man. The Kansas City Fire Department’s water rescue team, which has a boat and a dive team, was deployed to search the creek. A KCPD helicopter and K-9 units were also dispatched to the area.
Rescue teams were focusing attention to the water, but Becchina said there is the possibility the man got out of the creek somewhere else and was unseen. He also said the officers involved wish that the man had not run away and had stopped to talk with them.