Cellphone thief drowns after diving into water to escape from police

Cellphones (illustration) 
By: Mahesh Sarin

(Scroll down for video) A cellphone thief died while trying to escape from police by diving into the bay in Florida, police said.

On Saturday at approximately 5:00 a.m., the Escambia Sheriff’s Deputies were investigating a theft of a cellphone that had occurred at a bar located in the 5100 block of North W Street.

Their investigation led them to another bar located near the intersection of Zarragossa and Palafox streets, where they observed the suspect, later identified as Johnny Hall.

Upon making contact with Hall, the thief handed the stolen cellphone over to deputies before fleeing to the dead end of Baylen, where he dove head first into the Baylen Slip Marina.

Upon surfacing, officers repeatedly asked Hall to come back to shore, but he refused. Within a few minutes, Hall went under.

PPD Officers and ECSO Deputies removed their duty gear before diving in the water after Hall. However, they were unable to locate him in the dark water.

Divers with the ECSO Dive Team, Marine Ops Unit, and units from the Pensacola Police Departments, were called to the scene to assist with the search and rescue efforts.

Unfortunately, by the time Hall was recovered from the water, he was deceased.