Suspect Who Jumped Into Richland Creek Running From Deputies Identified

GOSHEN (KFSM) — Washington County authorities are looking for two people, one of whom jumped into the water near Bowen Boulevard early Wednesday (Feb. 28) morning, according to the the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Police were checking on a vehicle under the Richland Creek bridge about midnight when a deputy found two people who ran from him, according to Kelly Cantrell, sheriff’s office spokeswoman.

Cantrell said the deputy chased both people, but lost one of them before going back under the bridge. The deputy found a man back at the bridge, where he pursued him and eventually deployed a Taser, Cantrell said.

The missing suspect was identified as James Valles, 35, Cantrell said.

The deputy said the Valles broke away from the taser and jumped in the water about 60 yards down stream. Cantrell said the deputy last saw Valles swimming in the middle of the creek with his head above water.

Officials aren’t sure if he got out of the creek, but search and rescue crews didn’t find anyone in the water, Cantrell said. She added that crews did find an area where it appeared someone may have climbed out of the creek bank.

Deputies searched the woods nearby and didn’t find anyone, but will continue their ground search, Cantrell said.

Authorities don’t believe there is a threat to the public.

A white car parked next to the bridge appeared to have been abandoned.

Deputies searched the water again Friday since the water has lowered, Cantrell said. They used boats and sonar equipment, but were unable to find Valles.