Florida man dives into Pensacola Bay, drowns while fleeing deputies

Posted at 12:20 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 12:21:40-04

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- A 40-year-old Florida man drowned after diving into Pensacola Bay to escape sheriff's deputies who were investigating the theft of a cellphone from a bar.

According to a post on the Escambia County Sheriff's Office official Facebook page, deputies saw their suspect about 5 a.m. on July 2.

The man, later identified as Johnny Hall, handed the phone to deputies before running down a dead-end street. Then, he dove into the bay.

Investigators say they repeatedly asked him to return to shore, but he refused and disappeared under water.

The post says deputies and Pensacola police officers dove in, but couldn't find Hall in the dark water. He was dead when divers found him.

An investigation continues.