Deputies: Man who stole car, crashed it into Erie Canal facing multiple charges
SWEDEN, N.Y. (WHEC) — Deputies say the man accused of stealing a car and crashing it into the Erie Canal Monday afternoon is facing multiple charges.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said the man, who was not named by deputies was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and the third-degree unlawful fleeing police officer, along with multiple other violations.
Deputies say around 2:30 p.m.Brockport Police went to a bank on Lake Road for a report of customer trouble.
When Police arrived, they say the man, who appeared to be having a mental health episode, was smashing out windows in the parking lot, then he stole one of the vehicles and started driving toward Brockport.
Brockport Police chased him in the stolen vehicle, but he did not stop, then deputies got involved in the case before the pursuit was called off per policy.
Monro County Sheriffs says incident started with a apparent mental health episode at a bank in Sweden. Subject stole a car and took off. Caused at least five accidents in Brockport. Deputies called off the chase for safety but vehicle took off on the canal path east of Brockport pic.twitter.com/pknp7Q4ukn— Charles Molineaux (@WHEC_cmolineaux) August 9, 2021
Witnesses told the MCSO they saw the vehicle enter the canal path off of Gordon Road in the town of Sweden, at some point, the driver got out, and the vehicle went into the canal.
WATCH: One witness sent video of the incident he took to News10NBC. (Warning, there is profanity in the video, viewer discretion is advised) (mobile users, click here):
Emergency crews, and Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies, on the scene of a chase that ended with a car plunging into the canal pic.twitter.com/1qCiBGiZE8— Charles Molineaux (@WHEC_cmolineaux) August 9, 2021
Deputies said there were five crashes in the Town of Sweden and Village of Brockport and the MCSO is working to determine if they were related to the incident.
The MCSO said a SCUBA Team helped to remove the vehicle from the canal, and boat traffic was closed in the area for several hours but has since reopened.
MCSO SCUBA Team is on location to assist with removing the vehicle from the canal.— Monroe County Sheriff’s Office (@monroesheriffny) August 9, 2021
"We were told by the Canal Authority it is approximately 12 to 14 feet deep in this area so obviously it’s going to take a bit of time in order for our SCUBA divers not only to get here, gear up also go down and safely hook up to the vehicle and then work with the vehicle company to get that vehicle out," Bottone said.
A large tow truck was brought in to get the car out of the canal, but it was a tight squeeze down the narrow canal path for the large vehicle, which was driving in reverse.
Wrecker having to travel The canal path from Gordon Road all the way to where the vehicle is… In reverse. Deputies say getting the car out will be complicated by the fact there’s only so much room to work on narrow canal path. pic.twitter.com/GApbPt1TDi— Charles Molineaux (@WHEC_cmolineaux) August 9, 2021
"I mean the canal path in this area is not very wide," Bottone said. "So it does make it a little bit more difficult. There’s not a whole lot of working area between where the canal path is and the edge of the actual canal where you go into the water, so it does make things a little bit more difficult, especially for a large tow truck."
The man was issued an appearance ticket to appear in court on a later date and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Deputies said he has a history of mental health problems.
Erie canal, and canal path, blocked off east of Brockport. Vehicle still in the canal. Deputy say the driver jumped out andthe car went in the water. Suspect is in custody. pic.twitter.com/Zr68tcnLos— Charles Molineaux (@WHEC_cmolineaux) August 9, 2021