A man arrested early Thursday after allegedly barricading himself in an apartment and escaping from police while at a hospital and was eventually caught after he jumped into the St. Marys River and found himself floating on a log surrounded by police.
Sometime after 1:30 a.m. Thursday, police responded to a domestic battery, but when they arrived at an apartment on Lakeside Drive and tried to speak to Tracey Salter, 21, he barricaded himself in an apartment with a rifle and refused to come out, police said.
Police later determined that Salter was wanted on a felony warrant for contempt of court on an attempted robbery charge.
Attempts to contact Salter weren’t successful, so the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Emergency Services Team used an explosive device to enter the apartment and started calling out to him on a loudspeaker. Salter eventually surrendered peacefully, police said, and a rifle was recovered from the apartment.
Police said Salter was later taken to St. Joseph Hospital for a medical evaluation. While in the hospital, police said, Salter somehow slipped out of his restraints and fled. Police said they didn’t know what kind of restraints were being used, but that Salter would have been accompanied by a police officer the whole time and was never left alone.
A police officer was directly behind Salter as he fled, apparently running into the dock area of Fort Wayne Newspapers before running around the building and down Van Buren Street.
Police had Salter in their view most of the time during the chase, and officers from the city police and the Allen County Sheriff’s Department set up a perimeter around the area where he was believed to be.
Salter was spotted hiding in some brush along the south side of the St. Marys River, so he jumped into the river in an attempt to get away. Once in the river, he grabbed onto a floating log and remained there, surrounded by police.
Fire crews were sent to the scene in a boat, and divers put a life jacket on him and brought him to shore.
Police said Salter appeared tired and did not put up any resistance. He faces preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement on foot, escape, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, intimidation and domestic battery. He was being held Thursday night without bail.