Sunday, March 16, 2008



Elyria – Members of the Elyria Fire Department Dive Team, along with members of the Wellington Fire Department Dive Team, recovered the body of the man who ran from Police Saturday night and ended up going into the Black River.

Lieutenant Rick Thrasher of the Elyria Fire Department said the Dive Teams began operations inside of Cascade Park early Sunday morning. “We began this morning where we left off last night, based on the eye witness information of where the victim entered the water that is where we began the search. With the water being lower this morning we had hoped we would find him in that same area.”

The operation consisted of three boats and 10 Divers. Divers were just preparing to go back in the water around 12:30 P.M. when they were alerted that someone walking through Ely Wood Park near the Ford had found what they believed was the body of the man. Elyria Police Officers and Firefighters went to investigate and found the man along the Black River, just north of the Ford on the east bank.
The Divers, under the direction of Lt. Thrasher, approached the victim with the three boats. With the waters still running fast and although the water had fallen from over 11 feet last night, when the man went in the water, down to 9 feet Sunday afternoon, Firefighters were taking no chances during the recovery. One boat was sent down stream for additional protection if something had gone wrong. Lt. Thrasher said the operation went well and the Divers, both last night and today, all did a great job.

Lt. Thrasher said that with the waters being as cold as they are, the victim didn’t stand a chance after hitting the water late last night. “He wouldn’t have been able to survive long at all. Most people when they hit water this cold they gasp and they start taking in water right away, so often times it is very fast. The more you expose your body to the cold temperatures, the quicker your blood shunts to the core of your body and your arms and legs don’t seem to work as well as they normally would with the bood in them. If you’re gasping for air and you are taking water in, it won’t be long before you are in the same situation as this guy."

LifeCare Ambulance transported the man to Elyria Memorial Hospital where the Cornors Office will examin the body for a cause of death. The Elyria Police are still investigating.

Update 6PM:The Lorain County Coroner’s Office has released the name of the victim as 26 year old Leonard Bryant of Elyria.

Bryant is no stranger to the law, according to court documents Bryant has been in and out of local courts for numerous Domestic Violence charges, Assault on Police Officers, Fleeing from Police, Drug charges and multiple traffic violations including Driving Under the Influence. A warrant was issued for Bryant’s arrest through the Elyria Municipal Court on Aggravated Burglary and Domestic Violence charges. Neighbors believe it was the warrant that made Bryant run from Officers Saturday night.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


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