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Crime & Courts

Louisiana man reportedly leaps off bridge in attempt to avoid DWI arrest

A Louisiana man reportedly leaped off a bridge during a traffic stop in an attempt to avoid his eighth arrest on drunken-driving charges.

Thomas Robert Harter, 44, of Folsom, La., was arrested on charges of DWI, resisting arrest and careless driving on Sunday after leaping 20 feet into Lake Pontchartrain during a traffic stop on the Causeway bridge, the Times-Picayune reports.

Harter, who was stopped by police after being spotted swerving and speeding, "bolted" toward the edge of the crossover and jumped into the rough, 60-degree waters immediately after being asked to perform field sobriety tests, the newspaper reports.

Harter, who was wearing a green St. Patrick's Day necklace and smelled of alcohol at the time, managed to grab onto a utility building at the base of the bridge. He was later charged with third-offense driving while intoxicated and is being held without bond on outstanding warrants for hit-and-run and reckless driving. He is also being held on a $15,000 bond on the alleged driving violations.

"He's a lot better off than being crabmeat," Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou told the newspaper.

Click for more on this report from the Times-Picayune.

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