Drunk driving suspect jumps into Pontiac Lake to flee police

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Ted Arocha 

A suspected drunk driver takes desperate measures to avoid arrest.

He ran, he fought, he even tried to swim - but he didn't get away.

It all started when someone called in the man as a suspected drunk driver. But Ted Arocha apparently had no idea when he and his friends were headed to the party store for more beer, not realizing police were right behind him.

"It wasn't very good behavior I assume the guy was not all there," said Eddie Shunia, a witness.

A customer turned into a criminal on the run and tried to evade police by jumping into Pontiac Lake. Witnesses recorded cell phone video of him trying to swim away.

Eddie Shunia was working behind the counter at the Gin Mill party store in White Lake Township and says it all started when 45-year-old Ted Arocha and friends came in to buy some more beer.

Police had been looking for his vehicle, called in for drunk driving.

"When he realized she was going to arrest him he started to be a bit violent," Shunia said. "He pushed her and then took off running."

Chaos ensued as the officer and even a customer tried to stop Arocha. Shunia says the man punched and kicked the officer to break free, ran around the store and headed straight for the lake.

By that time more cops were on his tail.

"He was inside the lake calling and cussing at them saying 'Come on and get me,'" Shunia said.

Police took him up on his offer, borrowing Richard Knechtel and his friend's pontoon boat.

Knechtel says six officers crouched down on the boat and waited for them to lift the lift the water logged culprit out of the water, who was in for quite a shock himself.

"Luckily the guy didn't see the police get on the boat or anything," Knechtel said. "Then as soon as we got out there Tim yelled 'Get down you guys. They jumped on the floor, that way they weren't seen."

"When he jumped up his eyes were about this big, he was in a hurry to get back off the boat," Knechtel said.

They say Arocha tried to jump and swim again, but police convinced him he wouldn't get very far.

Eventually they arrested Arocha, who has now been charged with assaulting and resisting an officer and operating while intoxicated.