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Family Members Jump from Canal Bridge in Wetumpka After Short Pursuit with Elmore Deputies; One Hospitalized


Around 2:30 a.m. Dec. 29, Elmore Deputies were involved in a short pursuit that ended when two men from the same family abandoned a vehicle on top of the Canal Bridge on Hwy. 14, jumping into the water below.

One man is in custody identified as Robert Swindle, 23, who gave an address of Montgomery. A family member of his is recuperating from injuries during the incident at an area hospital, which occurred when he jumped from the bridge. Deputies have warrants for the family member, and those warrants will be served upon his release from the hospital. Until that time, Franklin said he is not releasing the full identity of the family member.

So far, Robert Swindle faces charges of possession of a controlled substance (Meth), possession of drug paraphernalia, attempting to flee/elude, and receiving stolen property. It is expected similar charges will be levied against the family member.

According to Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin, the incident began when one of his deputies ran a tag number of a vehicle traveling on Hwy. 14, and the tag came back as stolen.

The initial attempt to stop the vehicle was at the Russell Plant on Hwy. 14, Franklin said.

“Initially it looked like the vehicle was going to pull over at the Russell Plant on Hwy. 14, but then the driver took off headed towards Elmore,” Franklin said. “When he got to the crest of the bridge over the canal, he slammed on his brakes and a passenger jumped out and went over the bridge into the water.”

Franklin said the driver “scampered” over the hood of the vehicle to the right side and he also jumped from the top of the bridge.

“Robert Swindle apparently has a fair amount of athletic ability, more so than the family member, and was able to tread water. We believe that they also were able to grab onto a limb, or the pillars underneath the bridge. When the older family member hit the water, he broke a few ribs,” Franklin said. “We were able to get them to shore with the help of Wetumpka Fire and Rescue. Initially, we could not locate them, but they eventually started hollering for help. I am not sure how high that bridge is, but it is pretty high.”

The older family member had to be brought up the embankment on a back board, with some degree of difficulty, Franklin said.

“It appears there was Methamphetamine in the vehicle, and they tried to consume it before they jumped in the water,” Franklin said. “But we still found some remaining Meth in the vehicle. This is one of those things that just doesn’t happen too often for us, and it is certainly out of the ordinary. You could say you just can’t make this stuff up.”

Robert Swindle remains in jail in Elmore County. We will update this story with more information when available, or the second family member is released from the hospital and under arrest.