BOYTON BEACH, Fla. — Boynton Beach police are investigating the drowning of a man they say fled from officers who were responding to a vehicle burglary Thursday morning.
The incident happened just before 8 a.m. when the Boynton Beach Police Communications Center received a 911 call about a possible drowning in a retention pond behind the Canterbury community off of High Ridge Road.
Boynton Beach Fire Rescue Dive Team responded to the scene at around 10:30 a.m. and recovered the body of 21-year-old Tariq Bailey of Boynton Beach.
According to a report, at 3:19 a.m. two black males were seen pulling on car handles in a parking lot on Quantum Lakes Drive where two cars were reportedly entered and rummaged through.
Officers arrived at the scene and found the suspects walking northbound inside the Quantum Town Centre plaza. Officers attempted to make contact with the suspects but they fled on feet, jumping a fence into the Canterbury neighborhood. Officers pursued the suspects, but lost sight of them when they jumped another fence near Northwest 7th Street into a densely wooded area.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office was requested to assist with a helicopter and the Delray Beach Police Department assisted with an additional K9 Unit.
Officers established a perimeter and Boynton Beach and Delray police K9's searched the wooded area but were unable to locate the suspects.
Boynton Beach Police discontinued the search at 4:58 a.m.
The report states that 20-year-old Ayrton Errol Clouden Jr. of Boynton Beach told detectives that he and Bailey went into the pond and hid from officers following the vehicle burglaries. Clouden said he got out of the water, however, Bailey went under and failed to resurface.
Clouden was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail and charged with burglary to a conveyance.
"Our thoughts are with Mr. Bailey’s family during this difficult time. The department requested the South County Mental Health Mobile Crisis Unit to respond to assist his family," said Boynton Beach Police Department Spokeswoman Stephanie Slater.