Man drowns in pond after Ala. police chase

Published 4:47 pm Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Mississippi motorist who was shocked with a Taser after fleeing from a police checkpoint died in a south Alabama pond over the Fourth of July weekend, police said.

Arthur James Bennett, 36, of Meridian, Miss., died early Saturday, Police Chief Monte McGougin said.

Bennett failed to stop his car for police and they began chasing him, McGougin said. The man eventually abandoned his car and ran, hiding under the home of an elderly couple who called authorities.

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McGougin said officers cornered Bennett and he was shocked with a Taser. Then he ran into nearby woods and jumped into a pond while wearing boots.

“He went to the middle and began to tread water, still refusing to surrender,” McGougin said. “Officers went to get a boat, and we heard him slap the water and call for help. He went under and did not resurface.”

Rescue workers pulled the body from the 12-foot-deep pond about an hour later.

Police said Bennett had been wanted on multiple warrants including escape, resisting arrest, burglary, theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle and marijuana possession.

The case was turned over to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the state Department of Forensic Sciences for review.