Man Strips Off Clothes During Cold Police Chase, Gets ‘Severe Hypothermia’

A 43-year-old Salem, Utah man was hospitalized for “severe hypothermia” after police said he stripped off his clothes and jumped into a river during a foot pursuit.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office announced the incident on its verified Twitter account Friday (January 14) night, sharing photos that show heavy snow in the area of the scene.

The department confirmed the Salem man crashed his car “9 miles up Hobble Creek Canyon” after fleeing from a deputy who attempted to make a traffic stop.

Five deputies, including a K9, chased after the suspect in “2.5” deep snow for nearly 4 miles” and located the man “naked in a river” two hours later, the department confirmed.

The man was airlifted to the hospital for his injuries after reported being in the cold for more than three hours.

“He had significant abrasions, suffered from severe hypothermia, lost consciousness, and had to be carried to a side by side that took him to a LifeFlight helicopter,” the Utah County Sheriff’s Office tweeted. “@UtahDPS also assisted with the search. Springville ambulance also responded. He was in the cold for 3+ hours.”

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office told KUTV that its investigation into the incident is ongoing and acknowledged the possibility that the 43-year-old could have experienced a mental episode or used a substance prior to the incident, however, has not confirmed any additional details.

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