Police: Wanted Eugene man jumps into Willamette River to avoid arrest

EUGENE, Ore. -- A wanted man jumped into the Willamette River Saturday afternoon to escape a state trooper that had approached him for a fishing violation, Oregon State Police said.

The trooper was waiting on the shore when Coty Wayne Hartman, 25, of Eugene, realized he may drown if he continued to swim away, officials said.

The incident started at around 12:30 p.m. Saturday when a State Fish and Wildlife trooper approached Hartman about a fishing violation near the Beltline Bridge in North Eugene.

While issuing Hartman a citation at his pickup, the trooper learned his suspect was wanted on a felony burglary arrest warrant out of Lane County.

State Police said Hartman ran down a bike path and jumped into the Willamette after the trooper tried to place him under arrest.

After a brief period in the water, Hartman said he was drowning and returned back to shore and was taken into custody, officials said.

Hartman was booked into the Lane County Jail on the warrant and cited for 3rd-degree escape and an angling violation.