Man running from authorities needed to be rescued in flooded Camp Verde creek

Crews rescued a man who was reportedly running from authorities and got stuck in floodwaters in Campe Verde.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 7:41 PM MST
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CAMP VERDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A water rescue in Yavapai County ended with the victim being handcuffed because he reportedly ran from authorities on Wednesday. The Camp Verde Marshal’s Office said officers were telling homeowners in the area about the evacuations when they found Joseph C. Powell. He had several felony warrants out for his arrest. Instead of going with officers, he dove into the flooded waters of Clear Creek to try and swim away. “He did not (take) into consideration the strong current and possible hyopthermia from the cold flood waters,” Investigator Fred Hayman with the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office said in a statement.

Within seconds of going into the creek, he was swept downstream. He then shouted for help from the officers he was running from. They ran along the banks of the creek and eventually caught up with him as he clung to a tree with floodwaters all around him. The Verde Valley Fire District and the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District showed up to rescue Powell. Crews used ropes and got into the water to save Powell. They eventually got a rescue raft out to him and put a safety vest on him before having him get in the raft. Then, using their rope system, the rescue team on the ground pulled them to safety. Video from Verde Independent/Vyto Starinskas shows law enforcement waiting for Powell on land. He is quickly put in handcuffs, though the video shows he’s not wearing pants. Hayman said Powell was treated for mild hypothermia. It’s unclear what charges he faces.