Photo of Hale’s arrest
Perhaps it’s the allure of the azure Pacific that has recently enticed a handful of aquatically-minded individuals with a sincere desire to avoid contact with law enforcement to test their swimming skills against those of uniformed police in hot pursuit… or perhaps it’s simply a reluctance to repeat any of the local jail’s hospitality that compels those in flight to plunge headlong into the ocean and resist arrest by simply swimming out to sea.
Whatever his particular rationale may have been on the afternoon of October 27th, 40-year-old Shane Hale apparently had neither the stroke mechanics nor the endurance to evade capture when he jumped into the waters of Santa Barbara harbor to evade officers interested in apprehending him.
According to SBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, Hale had been spotted by patrol officers “behind the wheel of a brand new Honda Accord” parked on a busy waterfront area boulevard.
Police were undoubtedly suspicious, knowing Hale’s reputation as a drug user with multiple law enforcement contacts, but when they attempted to contact him, Hale quickly walked away.
A quick check of the Honda’s VIN number indicated that the vehicle “had been stolen earlier in the day from a dealership in Ventura,” while a records check of Hale reported that he was wanted on a San Luis Obispo County arrest warrant.
With that information in hand, the chase was on, with Hale leading officers into the Santa Barbara Harbor area and summarily diving headlong into the briney water.
Clearly reluctant to engage in a swimming contest, officers promptly summoned the nearby Santa Barbara City Harbor Patrol to assist. Minutes later, Hale was unwillingly plucked from the water and taken into custody.
Following his medical release from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Hale was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked on charges of vehicle theft, resisting arrest, and on the outstanding warrant.
Photo: Courtesy www.keyt.com