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Man jumps into river to avoid arrest

Associated Press

WINONA — A Chicago man who apparently faced a decision between getting arrested or jumping in the Mississippi River went for the 65-foot plunge, police said.

Justin Philip Washington, 22, was fished from the river early Saturday after jumping from an interstate bridge and floating downstream.

Washington held onto a pylon at an old railroad bridge downstream and was rescued about 15 minutes after the jump, authorities said.

The jump came after an officer approached Washington and another man on the bridge early Saturday. The two men were yelling at each other on the sidewalk next to a parked Ford Explorer, according to a police report.

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Washington turned toward the officer "in an aggressive manner," and the officer told him he was under arrest for disorderly conduct, Winona Police Sgt. Rick Bittle said.

Washington then climbed over the fence and jumped in the river, he said.

Bittle said Washington is being referred to the Winona City Attorney’s office for possible charges.

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