Trail man presumed drowned after arrest attempt becomes failed river rescue
Police efforts to arrest a man wanted on outstanding warrants quickly and tragically turned into a river search effort Wednesday afternoon in Trail, according to RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
“The wanted man jumped out of a second floor window of a residence and attempted to swim away in the nearby Columbia River, in efforts to evade arrest.
“On July 10, at around 2 p.m., RCMP members with Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment (KBRD) Crime Reduction Unit and members from the Trail and Greater District RCMP attended to a home in the Glenmerry subdivision of Trail, to arrest 28-year-old Andrew Lee Evans. Evans was wanted on several unendorsed arrest warrants (breach of conditions x3), with several recent attempts to locate and arrest him having led officers to the residence that day. With officers observing from outside the residence while officers inside the home spoke with an occupant, Evans was seen fleeing upstairs, where he jumped out a second-floor window while the officers were still on the main floor. The perimeter officers were unable to intercept Evans as he ran through the property and into the nearby Columbia River. The attending officers immediately dispatched the Trail Fire Dept Rescue boat when he was seen jumping into the river.
“From the shoreline, officers observed Evans swim back towards the shore where he remained in the water holding onto a tree branch and spoke to officers at the river’s edge. The RCMP officers made attempts to convince Evans to get out of the water as it was evident that he had put himself into danger by jumping into the fast-moving, cold water. At one point, Evans swam away from the shore, failing to heed to the officer’s advice and pleas to get out of the river for his own well being. Officers kept visual contact with Evans as he floated downstream until he reached a set of rapids known as Rock Island, where he disappeared from sight for a short period of time. Officers then observed Evans resurface, at which time he appeared to be in distress, only to swept under again and not seen afterwards.
“The Trail Fire Rescue boat had arrived on scene just as Mr. Evans had disappeared from view the second time. Trail Fire Rescue crews spent the remainder of the afternoon conducting a complete river search from the Trail area to the U.S. border however were unable to locate the man. Law enforcement and rescue agencies state side were immediately notified and are aware of the incident.
“As a result of the incident, the Independent Investigations Office was notified on Wednesday, at which time they advised the RCMP that they were not asserting jurisdiction over the matter. The Trail and Greater District RCMP are in continued contact with the family regarding this tragic turn of events. Andrew Lee Evans is classified as missing, however presumed drowned.
“Evans was wearing a white shirt and green/blue shorts and is described as a white male, 5’8″, 135 pounds, dirty blond hair, with blue eyes. The Trail and Greater District RCMP are asking anyone in the area to contact police should they locate anything or if they have information that can assist in locating Evans.”