SEATTLE - A police officer responding to a report of a man starting a fire near a marina fuel tank was sprayed with gasoline by the suspect, who then jumped into nearby Elliott Bay and tried to swim away.
The suspect was later fished out of the frigid saltwater by police and will be placed under arrest as soon as he is released from the hospital, police said.
The strange incident began when Seattle police responded to a call about a man who had broken into a secured fuel storage area at the Elliott Bay Marina in the 2600 block of W. Marina Place in Magnolia.
Witnesses said the man, in his 20s, was attempting to light oily rags on fire near a fuel storage tank, then ran when he was confronted by the marina's harbor master.
When Seattle police officers arrived, the suspect ran down a dock to an area with fuel pumps and hoses. The man then grabbed two hoses and sprayed an officer with a large amount of fuel.
The man then dropped the hoses and attempted, unsuccessfully, to shove the officer into the water.
The man then jumped into the water himself and began swimming to the west.
The Harbor Patrol later fished the suspect out of the water from the breakwater. He was placed on a gurney and taken by ambulance to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of possible hypothermia.
After he is released from the hospital, he will be booked on multiple charges, Seattle police said.
The officer was not injured in the scuffle.
The identity of the suspect was not yet available.