SIDNEY — Two Bellefontaine men were arrested Saturday and charged with inducing panic after allegedly paddle boarding on the Great Miami River.
Deputies from Shelby County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched May 18 at 4:57 p.m. to 18566 State Route 47 on the report a male was standing on a log in the middle of the river with high water. Perry Port Jefferson Rescue and Sidney Fire also responded to the scene.
Once on the scene, deputies saw Andrew S. Cook, 25, and Garrett M. Pickering, 26, on a yellow paddleboard attempting to paddle to the east bank. The report from the Sheriff’s Office said the men looked back several times at deputies.
At one point, the report said Cook fell off the board and started to go down stream and was unable to catch a overhanging tree. Once both men got closer to the bank, deputies no longer had a visual of them. A few moments later, one of the men was seen walking to the west, still in the water, but a visual of him was lost again, the report said. Firefighters advised they saw two kayaks going down stream with no one in or around them. First responders searched the area and were unable to locate the men.
Around 5:37 p.m., deputies received a tip there were two men walking around Johnson Slagle Road. Upon arrival, however, deputies were unable to locate the men. Then at 6:23 p.m., deputies received another tip the men they were seeking were near 7920 Pasco Montra Road. Upon arrival of the second location, deputies located two men wearing the same clothing they were allegedly seen wearing earlier in the river. The report said they were located 1.25 miles away from the river.
Once located, Cook and Pickering admitted to being in the water, but said they did not see or hear law enforcement, EMS or firefighters, the report said. The men told deputies they were unfamiliar with the area and were trying to return to Sidney.
Both men were arrested and were transported to the Shelby County Jail.
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