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05/24/09 06:06 AM

Suspect faces raft of charges after being pulled from river

A bizarre chase early Saturday ended with authorities pulling a Grand Island man from the Niagara River and arresting him on numerous charges.

Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies Kristin Rozycki and Brian O’Hara responded at about 4 a. m. to a disturbance call on Grand Island and found an unknown woman with injuries lying in the driveway.

They then saw a car operated by Jon L. Battison, 21, of 2131 Town Hall Terrace, drive past the home and when they tried to stop Battison for questioning, he refused and rammed his car into a patrol car, deputies said. Battison then continued over the Grand Island bridge into Niagara Falls, where he abandoned the car on Buffalo Avenue.

The U. S. Border Patrol K9 Unit found him in neck deep water in the east Niagara River. Also assisting in the search were Niagara County sheriff’s deputies, Niagara Falls police, state troopers and state parks police.

Battison refused to leave the water and struggled with police officers who pulled him out, deputies said.

He was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an auto injury accident, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, obstruction of governmental administration, unlawful fleeing of a police officer and numerous vehicle and traffic violations.

Rozycki was treated for neck pain.