GRAMERCY - A man wanted for aggravated battery and false imprisonment in Baton Rouge jumped from the Veterans Memorial Bridge in St. James Parish after a pursuit with state troopers early Tuesday afternoon that also left one trooper injured, Louisiana State Police reported.
Trooper Russell Graham II, spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop A, did not identify the man but said he stopped his vehicle near the top of the northbound lane of the bridge, got out and jumped over the rail into the Mississippi River below shortly after 1 p.m.
The bridge deck is approximately 165 feet above the surface of the river, said Lauren Lee, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation and Development.
Trooper Graham said the U.S. Coast Guard and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are searching for the man in the river.
Graham said the man is a suspect is an ongoing investigation by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Violent Crimes Unit and State Police.
After receiving information from the unit that the man was in St. James Parish, two troopers tried to make contact with the man shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday and conduct a traffic stop, Graham said.
The man, driving a black Chevrolet Impala, immediately sped away.
During the pursuit that followed, one of the troopers crashed in his squad car, but did not sustain life-threatening injuries, Graham said.
The other trooper continued chasing the man, who stopped his car near the top of the bridge, partially in the outside northbound lane and in the shoulder.
Graham said the pursuing trooper saw the man get out, run in front of his car and jump over the rail shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday.
“That was the last time he was seen,” Graham said.
He said traffic has been able to get around the parked car in the inside northbound lane but said he expected the car to be removed shortly.