Update (Tuesday 2:30 p.m.): Broward Sheriff's Office has identified the man who drowned early Monday morning as Gerdle Moise, 27, of Margate.
Original post: A man jumped into a canal and died after running away from Broward Sheriff's Office deputies as the officers stopped him and a friend to ask them questions. The BSO deputies were patrolling the area of McNab Road and Andrews Avenue on Sunday evening following a string of burglaries that had been reported.
According to BSO spokesperson Dani Moschella, the officers spotted the two men around 11:15 p.m., riding on bikes. The men were wearing dark clothing, and their bikes had no lights on them. The men, who stopped for the officers for questioning, were carrying flashlights.
But as the deputies questioned them further, the deputies found one of the men with an unusual number of coins in his pocket and someone else's ID. The other man was carrying a small woman's coin purse in the waistband of his pants. The first man seemed to cooperate with the deputies. The second man bolted as soon as the officers turned to ask him questions.
The man ran eastbound on SW 12th Avenue as a deputy gave chase. At one point, Moschella says, the deputy attempted to subdue the man with a Taser, but the probes missed the man when they were shot at him.
The man kept running and cut through the parking lot of St. Henry Catholic Church, located at 1500 S. Andrews Ave. in Pompano. He began removing his clothes as he ran toward the back of the church building, which sits in front of a canal.
The man bolted toward the rear of the church and jumped into the water. The officer saw the man breach surface of the water once and then disappear in the darkness.
According to Moschella, the deputy then took off his gun belt and jumped into the canal to attempt to rescue the man but couldn't locate him in the murkiness of the water.
BSO's Dive Team was eventually called in, and they found the man's body in the water an hour later. The deputy was transported to Broward Health North as a precaution but is expected to be fine.
"The man was not under arrest when he ran," Moschella says. "And he was not wearing handcuffs. BSO's homicide detectives are investigating the incident."
The Broward County Medical Examiner's Office will determine the cause of the man's death. His identity is not known at this time. Detectives will notify his family when they ID him.