SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Police dove into an alligator-inhabited pond to capture a suspect accused of a string of crimes.
The man is accused of entering at least five homes in the Henderson Golf Community Friday morning around 10:30 a.m. The Chatham County Police Department (CCPD) said through its investigation, it determined there was actually no forced entry.
An alert earlier claimed the man forcibly entered three homes.
CCPD said Billy Sloan, 29, fled from police in a stolen car, unlawfully entered multiple homes and held a standoff with officers. No one inside the homes were injured. Sloan was charged with the following:
- One count of theft by receiving stolen property (auto)
- One count of burglary
- Four counts of criminal trespass
- One count of drug possession
- One count of obstruction by fleeing
Officers spotted Sloan in the stolen car in the area of I-95 and Highway 204 as he was stopping at a gas station. Sloan fled when deputies approached the car.
A Georgia State Patrol officer later spotted Sloan who bailed from the car on Al Henderson Boulevard, CCPD said. Deputies then called in a helicopter and K-9 units to find Sloan.
Officers saw Sloan run into the pond and swim to the middle of it, despite their orders not to, CCPD said. Officers noticed two alligators and one of them began swimming towards Sloan. It then started circling him in the pond.
Deputies then asked the helicopter to fly over the pond to scare the alligators away from Sloan. Officers threw a life jacket to Sloan but he refused to grab ahold of it.
After unsuccessfully trying to convince Sloan to grab the float for over an hour, CCPD’s Joseph Lohr and Marine Patrol Officer Heath Wynn dove into the water to apprehend him. The pair arrested Sloan and drove him out of the pond in an amphibious vehicle, CCPD said.
Sloan was taken to a local hospital and then later taken to the Chatham County Detention Center.