FWC: Man jumps in water during arrest near Fort DeSoto

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A St. Petersburg man is facing several charges after officers say he jumped off a boat to resist being arrested by state wildlife officials.

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were out near Fort DeSoto and Bunce’s Pass Saturday when the incident happened. According to an arrest report, the officers were trying to conduct a commercial fisheries inspection involving 39-year-old Ryan Rauch.

The FWC officers say Rauch refused to take his hand out of his commercial fishing slickers during the investigation even though he was given several commands to do so for officer safety purposes. When the officers got on Rauch’s boat, they say he tensed up, pushed and resisted as they tried to remove his hand from his slickers.

Eventually, the officers were able to put Rauch in handcuffs and get him into a law enforcement boat.

According to an arrest report, Rauch jumped out of the boat and into the water at some point while officers were bringing him to Gulfport Marina. One of the officers jumped into the water after him to try and get him back into the boat. The arrest report says Rauch refused and clamped down on the officer’s hand.

Throughout the incident, officers say Rauch was agitated and verbally combative. 

Rauch was charged with resisting an officer with violence and resisting an officer without violence.

He is also facing charges for not having a wholesale license, not having a saltwater products license and not having a retail license. Rauch reached out to News Channel 8 saying he does have those licenses but didn’t have them on him at the time. He provided us with copies of his license.

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