FREEPORT — Rescuers early this morning called off an hours-long search of frigid Buffalo Creek where an unknown man police wanted to question jumped into the water to get away from a borough officer.
But Freeport police, believing the suspect got out of the water undetected, continued their manhunt today.
“We’re now reviewing surveillance video from 16 locations in town to help us identify and find this individual,” Freeport Police Chief Jeff Swiklinski said about 7:30 a.m.
The man is described as white, 5 feet, 10 inches tall with long blonde hair. He is clean shaven and was last seen wearing jeans and a Carhartt jacket.
A Freeport patrol officer spotted the suspect at 3:49 a.m. on the Buffalo Creek boat launch.
About 55 minutes earlier, police had been notified of a suspicious man pounding on the window or door of an apartment at a senior citizens’ high-rise building just three blocks from the boat launch.
“Is the person we’re looking for the same person from the high-rise? I don’t know,” Swiklinski said.
But the man who caused the commotion at the apartment building matched the description of the man seen on the boat launch, authorities said.
When the police officer approached the man on the launch, the suspect would not identify himself and became “hostile and uncooperative,” Swiklinski said.
Moments later, he jumped into the 39-degree water.
Before jumping, he yelled to the officer, “I’m not going back to jail.”