A Harviell, Missouri man, who attempted to evade law enforcement by swimming out into Table Rock Lake following a vehicle pursuit, is now in custody.

In a press release, Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander reported that, at approximately 3:30 a.m. on March 31, Kimberling City Police officer Caleb McCarty attempted to perform a traffic stop on a suspected stolen vehicle on Missouri 13 near Stone Ridge Road. 

The vehicle occupants, identified at Martin Latimer of Harviell and Kendra Light of Rolla, failed to yield the vehicle and initiated a pursuit with the Kimberling City Police Department. The pursuit later included the Stone County Sheriff’s Office. Latimer drove the vehicle down DD Highway and into a residential area before pulling over near Table Rock Lake. While Light was immediately apprehended by law enforcement, Latimer fled the vehicle on foot and headed into Table Rock Lake, according to the press release.

In a secondary press release, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader reported that, after fleeing the vehicle, Latimer swam about 30 to 40 yards out into the water and refused to obey commands from law enforcement. While the Missouri State Highway Water Patrol and the Southern Stone County Fire Water crews were contacted for marine aid, Rader said he called local resident David Byrne for boat assistance at Coney Island.

After Latimer had been in the water for about 20 to 25 minutes, Byrne arrived with his bow-fishing boat. The original plan was for Byrne to stop at a dock and pick up a deputy, but when Latimer began going under water, Byrne jumped into action. Byrne pulled his boat up to Latimer, locked arms with him and transported him to the shore, the release stated.

“I am humbled to call this man my friend, and he is a true hero this morning,” said Rader in the release. “As a citizen, neighbor and friend to a lot of people, he (has) always been there to step up and help. David went way above and beyond this morning with his heroic actions. Also a big thank you to his wife Marleen for getting out of bed with him to back the boat into the water.”

As of press time, Latimer and Light were being held in the Stone County Jail awaiting charges. Additionally, the vehicle was confirmed to be stolen out of Clever, according to the Kimberling City release.

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