Police: Handcuffed man assaults chief, jumps into Lehigh River

Fleeing suspect later apprehended by police in chilly water

Suspect captured after jumping into Lehigh River

LEHIGHTON, Pa. - A man is now in plenty of hot water after police had to pluck him from some cold water Monday morning.

It all began around 9:30 a.m. while Lehighton police Chief Neal Ebbert was moving Luke Zetts from the holding cell area of the borough's police station in Carbon County to the parking lot, police said.

Zetts, 18, managed to get behind Ebbert and slide his cuffed hands over the chief's head and around his neck, with both men falling to the ground during their struggle, according to court documents.

Ebbert managed to free himself from Zetts' grasp and Zetts ran off, police said.

Officers from several surrounding police departments were called in to help in the pursuit of Zetts, who later jumped into the Lehigh River, police said.

Zetts refused the officers' demands to come out of the water and give himself up, floating in the middle of the river and swimming from side to side as he tried to elude capture.

Zetts was eventually apprehended after he emerged from the water around 11:15 a.m.

Images:  Fleeing suspect apprehended in Lehigh River

Zetts, 18, of Weissport, was originally apprehended on a warrant for deserting the armed forces. For his escape Monday, he was charged with aggravated assault, escape and resisting arrest, police said.

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Allentown, PA 18102


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