St. Pete man arrested for domestic battery jumps into bay with handcuffs on, dies

Local News

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A 33-year-old man under arrest for domestic battery died after he broke free from officers and jumped into the Boca Ciega Bay Sunday night.

The Treasure Island Police Department responded to “domestic disturbance” near the Publix at 104th Avenue and Gulf Blvd around 7:40 p.m. When they arrived, they investigated the complaint and arrested Donnie Brownlow Jr. for domestic battery as well as obstruction, felony driving while license suspended and violation of probation.

Brownlow was transported to the police department at 180 108th Avenue to await a jail transport van.

Detectives said while being escorted to the van in handcuffs, Brownlow broke free from the officer and ran toward Boca Ciega Bay and jumped into the water. The police department is right on the water.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, which is assisting with the death investigation, could not say if there was video of the incident.

Investigators say it’s unknown if Brownlow may have been experiencing a mental episode, and it won’t be known if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol until after an autopsy.

Paramedics from the fire department, which shares a building with Treasure Island P.D., pulled him out of the water and performed CPR. Brownlow was transported to nearby Palms of Pasadena Hospital where he was pronounced dead around 9:40 p.m.

8 On Your Side found jail records that show Brownlow had a number of priors including an arrest by Pinellas Park police earlier this year for aggravated battery, reckless driving, and fleeing officers.

Treasure Island P.D. did not return requests for comment.

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