PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- The video above shows a remarkable scene unfolding Wednesday night in Port Richey. Pasco County deputies leap into a canal to save a man who had run from them but was now pleading for them to save him from drowning.
"Help me help me," he pleads.
"He went under," a deputy says.
Another deputy says, "We got to go in there. Here, take my gun. Go, go."
That's when deputy John Riyad jumped in and deputy Robert Auch followed soon after.
"By the time I got over to him he was pretty much dead weight and unconscious," said deputy Riyad.
"Get his head up," deputies screamed.
The two deputies worked together, first just to get 40-year-old Jeral Bornstein back to shore.
Bornstein's lifeless body was pulled out of the water and other deputies began CPR.
"We weren't getting a pulse at all," said corporal Brett Morris.
"We were saying 'Let's get him on his side so we can get that liquid out,'" said field training officer Zack Barr.
"No shock advised," read the AED machine.
Seconds later Bornstein started breathing on his own.
"It was a relief. I think something we all start this job to do is save lives," said Barr.
The group won't call themselves heroes. They credit teamwork and cooperation for saving Bornstein's life.
Bornstein, however, didn't see it that way.
"He was apologetic and he thanked us for saving his life. He acknowledged that if we had not done what we did he would have been dead," said Riyad.
All in a night's work.
Bornstein was chased because he was driving a vehicle wanted in a petit theft. Bornstein admitted he ran because he didn't have driver's license.
He also tried to ram a cruiser while fleeing. The deputies avoided a collision with Bornstein, who sped off onto U.S. Hwy. 19 and State Road 52. The pursuit ended at Westport Drive. and Seabreeze Drive, where Bornstein ran away and ended up in the canal.
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