Save a man from drowing in San Marcus, and it will find you in the pokey!

Richard A Whitenight rum.runner at JUNO.COM
Tue Jul 5 21:20:17 MDT 2005


A San Marcos man goes to jail after rescuing a potential drowning victim.
Police say he got in the way of safety personnel trying to clear the
scene.
Students and families typically come to one area on the San Marcos River
to relax and have fun. On Sunday, a near drowning and an unusual arrest
changed that for one man.
It didn't take long for the current to pull a man under at the falls on
the San Marcos River so 48-year-old David Newman says he acted quickly to
save him.
"I made a decision to go with my gut feeling and pull him out of the
water rather than get out of the water myself," Newman said.
But what happened after that decision landed him in the Hays County Jail.
"I tried to catch my breath over here, then I swam across as soon as I
exited the water. They extended their hand to help me out and put the
cuffs on me," Newman said.
Authorities agree he helped the victim, Abdul Duamni, out of the water,
but they say afterwards Newman failed to get out right-away.
"He was not obeying what they said or responding to their request. All he
would have had to do was come across the river," Ralph Myers with Texas
State University Police said.
Authorities say he kept EMS personnel from immediately assessing the
scene. Newman contends he did the right thing.
"I didn't do anything to go to jail. I knew this guy was alive, and I was
happy for that. I'm still happy with that for me. That's the main issue
here saving a life," Newman said.
Newman was charged with interfering with public duties. He faces up to
180 days in jail or a $2,000 fine.
He is scheduled to appear in court August 4.
Authorities say they draw a distinct line between two scenarios. On the
one hand, they're grateful he helped get this man to safety. After the
rescue, authorities say he made it hard for them to control the
situation. 
They believe the only thing short of jail was him obeying their orders.
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