Clay County prosecutors on Thursday charged a motorist who they say jumped off the Broadway Bridge trying to elude sheriff’s deputies after an hourlong pursuit.
Robert Joseph McGaugh, 22, of Independence, faces a felony charge of resisting arrest and misdemeanor charges of driving with a revoked or suspended license and not having proper insurance.
He appeared in court Thursday. Bond was set at $2,500.
According to court documents, the incident began about 9:40 a.m. Wednesday on Missouri 152 and North Oak Trafficway when Clay County deputies attempted to pull over a westbound driver because the vehicle’s two license plates did not match.
McGaugh allegedly sped west through Kansas City, North, and into Kansas City, Kan., as other law enforcement officers joined the pursuit, which reached a top speed of 50 mph.
After McGaugh drove back into Missouri and later to Clay County, Kansas City police officers deflated the vehicle’s tires with stop sticks.
McGaugh stopped the vehicle in the middle of the Broadway Bridge, got out and jumped into the Missouri River. He swam to a bank and climbed out before disappearing into woods, authorities said.
Deputies and other law enforcement officials converged on the area. About 10 minutes later, McGaugh jumped back into the river and began treading water. At that point, police arrested him.
McGaugh later told detectives he decided not to stop because he is “institutionalized” after having been incarcerated since he was 16 years old, according to court records.