Oregon police were called to a suspected trespasser at the Astoria riverfront on Wednesday night (Dec. 27). While police attempted to arrest the suspect, he sped off in his vehicle and ended up driving off a pier into the chilly waters of the Columbia River. The suspect is now safely in custody, but his Ford pickup truck is still at the bottom of the river, at least for now. A report by The Oregonian relayed many of the details used in this article.

Police chase after suspected trespasser

The Astoria Police Department told the story of 27-year-old Timothy Erofeeff of Scotts Mill, Oregon, and described the suspect’s flight from the Astoria riverfront, when he drove off the North Tongue Point Pier into the icy cold Columbia River.

He was treated at a local hospital for hypothermia before being taken into custody on suspected criminal trespass, as well as violating parole. Erofeeff also had further charges added, including reckless driving, attempting to elude the police, and escape.

High-speed chase ends with icy dunking

Erofeeff became a suspect after reports were received by the Astoria Police Department of someone trespassing on boats at the riverfront. They found him in his vehicle at 10 AM on Wednesday, according to police. It was at that time officers contacted the suspect’s parole officer, who immediately told them he had violated parole and that they should arrest him. However, as the officers approached Erofeeff, he sped off.

A high-speed chase then ensued between police and Erofeeff, which ended as the suspect drove onto the pier, a short distance from the scene. While the officers stopped their vehicle, the suspect just kept on going, speeding off the end of the pier into the river.

Erofeeff then got out of his vehicle and started swimming away, but eventually returned to the pier. The officers couldn’t initially reach him, as the pier was too high above the water.

According to a witness, 50-year-old J.D. Moreland, the officers spoke to Erofeeff, telling him not to panic and managed to call him back in.

Moreland captured all the excitement of the chase on video, which he posted to Twitter. Moreland told The Oregonian that Erofeeff started driving onto the pier as fast as possible, leading to him driving off, crashing straight into the water.

The officers then threw Erofeeff a life vest and floatation disk to keep him afloat until employees of a nearby shipyard went out in a skiff to rescue him. A fishing boat also aided in pulling the suspect out of the water, as can be seen in a video included below.

While Erofeeff is now safely in custody, his Ford F-150 is still at the bottom of the river. Police are coordinating with the Coast Guard to remove the vehicle.