WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A man is facing charges after leading police on a man hunt and jumping into the Cape Fear River early Friday morning.
According to police, Caleb Mercer, 20 of Laurinburg, was stopped by officers around 1:00 a.m. when he ran from a fight that started at Front and Market Streets. According to Lt. Blanton, authorities stopped the young man for questioning about the fight.
Mercer handed police a fake ID while they were trying to gather his information. He then panicked and took off running.
An officer chased him down to the riverfront at Front and Market Streets, and Mercer jumped into the water.
Mercer swam all the way across the river, from the Wilmington side, to a marsh on the Brunswick County side of the Battleship. He later gave up to responding officers in the marsh area near the Battleship.
Wilmington Police, SABLE, and the Coast Guard tracked Mercer through the water for about an hour.
According to Lt. Blanton, Mercer was not involved in the earlier assault. Mercer told police he ran because he recently lost his job, and did not want to get in anymore trouble.
Mercer was charged with: hinder/obstruct/delay public officers; consuming alcohol under 21; obtain/attempt to obtain alcohol with a drivers license of another person; and city code violation of swimming in the river from the park.
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