Comanche County_UPDATE_A Wednesday morning manhunt in Comanche County came to a bizarre end after the suspect stripped off his clothes and jumped into a pond. 28-year-old, Chad Major held police, sheriff's deputies, and the highway patrol at bay for nearly an hour before he decided to take a dive into a pond.
Investigators say the chase began when a county road grader saw something amiss near Coombs Road and Southeast 15th Street. He says he saw a van out in the middle of a field, and people running back and forth to a wooded area. He says it seemed so strange, that he called the law.
"You going to put me on a "Hanes" commercial or what?" asked the suspect as Sheriff Kenny Stradley and one of his deputies escorted him to the police car. He may be photogenic, but "Hanes" commercial star Cuba Gooding, Jr., probably doesn't have to worry about losing his job anytime soon. After his swim, authorities were still trying to figure out what they had just witnessed. "It's been a long, long time since I've seen anybody jump in the pond, go to the middle, and not come out," said Stradley.
Before the suspect took a dip, a county worker says the man, along with some other people, were doing something else near a van in a field. "It just looked so suspicious," said the worker. "I didn't know what they was doing. We get so much trash dumped out there, and that's what I thought it probably was." However, police thought otherwise, followed the van, and pulled it over. "They stopped and found they had drugs there," said Stradley. "They made a statement that we dropped our buddy out east of town."
It didn't take long for authorities to find the suspect. "He had a hatchet in his hand," said Stradley. "My officer told him to throw the hatchet down a couple of times, he threw it down and started throwing stuff out of his pocket." The Sheriff says he believes that what he was removing from his pocket was meth. After he dumped it, deputies say the man jumped the fence to hide in the field - until officers found him.
The suspect then ran like a wild animal through the field until he found a pond. "He went to the middle of the pond, so we just stood by waiting for him to get tired," Stradley said. Completely surrounded, he refused to come to shore, and instead showed off his best swimming skills - the breast stroke, followed by a backstroke.
Several officers - dive team members - went in after the suspect, but he just swam toward the other shore. Finally, he had had enough. "Just goes to show you what meth will do to your brain," said Stradley.
The Sheriff says he believes the suspect and the other people were possibly cooking meth in the field. He says deputies searched for evidence for several hours on Wednesday afternoon, and on Thursday evening, Majors was charged with possession of meth.
Count on 7News to keep you updated.
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