Man rescued after apparently fleeing cops, jumping into Rock River

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Gazette staff
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

JANESVILLE—The Janesville Police Department and Janesville Fire Department rescued a man from the Rock River when he jumped in after being pulled over by police Tuesday night.

Police pulled Bradley A. Bobzien, 52, over near the intersection of Centerway and North Main Street at 6:06 p.m. after police recognized the vehicle as being one described in an earlier incident. Bobzien, one of an unknown number of occupants in the vehicle, then exited and ran from police, Lt. Terry Sheridan said.

Police chased the man on foot before he jumped into the river and floated south.

Bobzien, 1210 Kellogg Ave., No. 6, Janesville, was allegedly running because he did not want to be arrested on an outstanding warrant for battery, according to a police department alert.

He was later rescued from the river south of the Milwaukee Street Bridge at about 6:39 p.m.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 6:09 p.m., a Rock County 911 Communications shift supervisor said.

Rescuers threw Bobzien a rope and life jacket, but he had difficulty holding on to both. A ladder was lowered into the water, and he slowly climbed out, a Gazette reporter on the scene said.

Sheridan said Bobzien was the driver of the vehicle and that alcohol was involved in the incident.

Jasmine Brown, a student at Dance Attitudes, 10 S. Main St., watched the incident unfold through the studio's window. She said she saw the man run from police, climb on top of the Milwaukee Street Bridge ledge and jump in.

Another Gazette reporter was at the Janesville Athletic Club, 15 W. Milwaukee St., and saw the man "slowly climb out" from the river and over the bridge ledge.

Gym-goers and employees at the athletic club were watching the scene unfold through the windows that face the river.

Bobzien emerged from the water wearing a girl's varsity sweatshirt, shorts and socks, but he was missing his shoes.

He was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville, for treatment related to the time he was in the water.

He is being held at the Rock County Jail on the outstanding warrant. 

He was arrested for resisting an officer, operating after revocation, and the Department of Corrections warrant for battery.

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