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Handcuffed Man Drowns in River

September 18, 2000

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ A man who was handcuffed and charged with alcohol intoxication tried to escape police custody by jumping into the Ohio River and drowned, authorities said.

Louis Wade Hermann, 24, was pulled from the water just after 12 a.m. Sunday, according to Sgt. Ronel Brown, the department’s spokesman.

Hermann had been charged with alcohol intoxication and disorderly conduct after a concert by country music star Collin Raye. After Hermann was handcuffed, police said he ran and jumped into the river.

Police held back a detective who tried to save the man. Detective Bill Keeling, a police spokesman, said a rescue attempt by anyone lacking scuba equipment would have been deadly because of the darkness, the depth of the water and the current.

But a witness who said he was also held back said Hermann was close enough to shore that someone could have rescued him.

``It’s tearing me up because I know I could have saved his life,″ said Del Rainwater.

Keeling said the incident would probably be investigated by the department’s internal-affairs unit, but added that he thought the officers at the scene had acted properly.

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