An habitual offender fled police early this morning and stood in a freezing river for minutes before finally surrendering.
Five minutes after midnight, a Vermont State Police trooper stopped a car in Orleans for a motor vehicle violation. It then fled at a high rate of speed onto Rte. 58, where it committed a number of other marked lane violations. As a safety precaution, the trooper stopped the pursuit.
About 10 minutes later the car struck a Rte. 5 guardrail and came to a stop. The sole occupant/operator, Jason Abel, 37, of Irasburg, fled on foot, and was located in the Barton River which runs parallel with the road.
Abel failed to comply with orders to exit the river. After several minutes, Abel exited the river on his own and was taken into custody without further incident. Abel was transported to the Vermont State Police – Derby Barracks. He was later lodged at Northern State Correctional Facility. Charges include Attempting to Elude, Negligent Operation, Resisting Arrest, and Habitual Offender.