LEWISTON — A Lewiston man who jumped into the Androscoggin River to escape arrest Sunday afternoon was caught a short while later, according to police.

Christopher Messier, 27, had a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear in court on a domestic violence assault charge, according to Sgt. Wayne Clifford of the Lewiston Police Department.

Clifford said when police attempted to arrest Messier, he fled and jumped into the canal by Simard-Payne Memorial Park. He then made his way along the banks of the Androscoggin River before jumping into the river.

An Auburn police officer hauls Christopher Messier, 27, of Lewiston into a rescue boat in the middle of the Androscoggin River, between Lewiston and Auburn, on Sunday afternoon.  Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

“He swam a little bit down the river and the Auburn Police Department sent out a rescue boat to grab him,” Clifford said.

Police tossed Messier an inflatable ring to keep him afloat as he drifted underneath the footbridge connecting Auburn to Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston. A few minutes later, Auburn police pulled Messier from the river and placed him under arrest.

Clifford said Messier was taken to the hospital for evaluation and later taken to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn.

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