Standoff suspect back in custody after escaping

Police on the railroad bridge that spans the St. Marys River.
Police on the railroad bridge that spans the St. Marys River.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The suspect pulled from the St. Marys River Thursday was the same person from the hours-long standoff earlier in the day.

Photo gallery |  Suspect escapes

Tracey Salter, 21, was arrested by Fort Wayne Police after a standoff that lasted for more than five hours. Before being taken to jail, he was first taken to the St. Joseph Hospital. He was under the guard of one police officer while at the hospital. 

While at the hospital, Salter managed to slip out of his restraints and run off. He led police to the railroad tracks that spans the St. Marys River, between the W. Main Street and Sherman Boulevard Bridges. 

A construction worker in the area said he saw the entire incident play out. He said he saw Salter get tased by police, rip out the barbs and jump into the river. Salter apparently got tired from the running and then swimming in the river, and latched onto a log.

Fort Wayne Fire Department water rescue crews then pulled him out.

Salter had been taken into custody after 6 a.m. on Thursday, after a standoff that started around 1 a.m. at the South Bridge Apartments. Police were called to the complex for a potential battery suspect who had barricaded himself inside an apartment.

City police spokesperson Officer Chris Felton said the alleged battery happened on Oneida Street near downtown and a woman and the alleged suspect came to the apartment on Lakeside Drive. After police arrived, the victim did show up and speak with officers.

The FWPD Crisis Response Team and Emergency Services Team arrived at the complex around 3 a.m. after officers learned the man inside had an assault-type weapon.

Shortly after 6 a.m., officers placed an explosive charge on the door and entered the apartment. Salter was then arrested on outstanding felony warrant for armed robbery. Additional charges for that incident, and others for his attempted escape, are pending.

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