Man dives into Augusta canal while running from deputies

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - An Augusta man took a dive into the Augusta canal early this morning while he was running from deputies. Hamilton Scott Hembree was arrested after he lead deputies on a brief chase in downtown Augusta.

Before Hamilton Scott Hembree took an early morning swim in the Augusta Canal, deputies said he was pulled over for a traffic violation.

"Deputies observed a vehicle traveling the wrong way on the 1300 block of 3rd street."

During the stop, Hembree gave the deputy false information before speeding off - that's when the chase started. Sgt. Shane Mcdaniel with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office says Hembree drove through downtown, eventually entering Riverwatch Parkway where he crashed the car he was driving into a guardrail.

"Subsequently during a foot chase and the defendant apparently tried to elude Sheriff's deputies by jumping into the canal and swimming towards the savannah river."

Numerous deputies assisted with the search. They eventually found the suspect swimming in the Savannah River.

"At that time, the deputies got into the paddle boat and paddled out to the water and took the suspect into custody without any further incident."

An investigation found that the car Hembree was driving was stolen in Richmond County earlier this week. He was booked into the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.

Deputies said Hembree has had prior run-ins with the law. Right now he is facing multiple charges, including driving under the influence and theft by taking.