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Man, 53, walks into Carlsbad lagoon to avoid police; lifeguards on paddleboards trail him for 45 minutes

A 53-year-old suspect in a Carlsbad disturbance Tuesday morning walked away from police and into a lagoon, where lifeguards on paddleboards followed until he gave up, police in the North County city said.

Shortly before 10 a.m., officers headed to the area of Avenida Encinas and Ponto Drive after getting a report that a man was causing a disturbance, Carlsbad police said in a news release. He reportedly had trespassed onto a vacant lot and grown belligerent with landscapers, a police spokesperson said.

When officers arrived, they were able to get the man’s identification information before he walked off, slipped into Batiquitos Lagoon, and swam away.

Police discovered there was a felony warrant for his arrest, and that he was wanted on suspicion of making terrorist threats in Orange County.

With the man still in the water, police called in help from Carlsbad firefighters and California State Parks lifeguards. A Sheriff’s Department helicopter was also dispatched to the lagoon.

Police said lifeguards trailed the man for about 45 minutes until he decided to get out of the water near Interstate 5 at La Costa Avenue.

He was arrested and taken to a hospital for evaluation. Once medically cleared, he was expected to be arrested in connection with the Orange County warrant.

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