Naked man refuses to be rescued from Tempe Town Lake

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Police and fire crews spent more than an hour trying to get a naked man out of Tempe Town Lake on Wednesday.

According to officials, Chris Brown, 38, somehow got into the lake - possibly by jumping off the light rail or railroad bridge into the water.

Police found drug paraphernalia on Brown, who shed all but his socks before going in.

Rescue crews on two boats tried to reach out to him, but that didn't work. They then tried to bring him in using a life preserver and a long pole, which looks similar to what a dog catcher uses, but he avoided them a number of times.

Brown even went under the water, between boats and under buoys to avoid capture.

Officials said although the scene looked amusing from shore, it was serious business.

"There's a lot of entrapment under the water. There's any number of debris he could get trapped in and not get back up," said Deputy Chief Mitch Bycura with Tempe Fire. "We wanted to keep him at the surface where we could keep track of him, watch his fatigue level."

Finally, rescue divers who were harnessed to a boat got in the water and grabbed Brown at about 12:25 p.m. He was pulled onto a boat and taken to shore.

"He was in the water for more than an hour and that's not an easy thing to accomplish," said Bycura.

"It is a bit of a surprise, it's a long time to be in the water," said Sgt. Jeff Glover.

Brown was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

There is no word on why he decided to go for a swim, but it is against city code to swim in the lake.

Police said Brown is facing charges of indecent exposure, failure to identify, obstruction of a public thoroughfare, defecating in public, possession of drug paraphernalia, and use of water for swimming.