This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Sandra Yi ReportingFreezing temperatures this weekend became dangerous for a Lehi Police Officer. Two people ended up in the hospital after a chase involving a barefoot suspect and a cop.
Tim Hunsaker: "It was really dark that night."
The darkness and freezing temperatures proved to be a dangerous combination as officer Tim Hunsaker chased after a wanted man.
Tim Hunsaker, Lehi Police Dept.: "He came in off of a different angle, and I was right behind him. Had I known it was water, I wouldn't have took the leap."
That leap landed Hunsaker in this creek.
Tim Hunsaker: "The fence actually just stopped me in my tracks, submerged me in the water, and the fence held my head under the water for a few seconds."
He had to untangle himself. He has cuts on his legs. His uniform was torn. He showed us the cuts on his hands.
Tim Hunsaker: "The fence was slick and frozen, and my hands kept slipping off of it."
He freed himself, but seconds later he could feel hypothermia setting in.
Tim Hunsaker: "The coldness of the water didn't bother me. I was standing out here, it was 26 degrees, and soaking wet."
Meantime the search continued for the barefoot suspect, identified as 23-year old Michael Neil.
Tim Hunsaker: "We were very concerned for him."
Neil ran after another officer pulled him over along I-15. Hunsaker decided to help with the traffic stop.
Tim Hunsaker: "When we ran his license plate, the truck showed not insured, and that was the initial stop."
Turns out Neil had drug warrants. A passenger in his car, 24-year old Alex Pitsch, also had warrants and was later arrested. Police eventually caught up to Neil who was taken to the hospital. But yesterday night he walked out and is still on the run.
Tim Hunsaker: "He has added more charges and he's got to be suffering some severe pain, and it's ridiculous."
Police planned to arrest Neil when he was released from the hospital. But again, he walked out.