Winnipeg robbery suspect jumps into river, falls through ice trying to escape police

Water and ice flowing on the Assiniboine River near the Portage Diversion on April 30, 2013. Crystal Goomansingh / Global News

A robbery suspect had to be rescued by the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service after trying to escape police custody.

Winnipeg police say on Thursday night around 10:15 p.m., officers and a K9 unit responded to the 2000 block of Portage Avenue after a male was observed damaging the front door of a closed business.

Read more: UPDATE: Death of man after ice rescue not suspicious: Winnipeg police

Police say the man was able to enter the business and stole an empty cash register before fleeing on foot.

Officers were able to follow his tracks in the fresh snow.

When they were closing in on him, he jumped into the Assiniboine River, alternatively swimming in the open water and crashing through thin ice.

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The WFPS deployed two water rescue members in the water and on the ice in an attempt to rescue the suspect.

Click to play video: 'Kamloops man and his dog rescued from river' Kamloops man and his dog rescued from river
Kamloops man and his dog rescued from river – Mar 8, 2019

Police say he refused rescue for a lengthy period while moving/floating up and down the river.

Winnipeg police say he was in the water or on the ice for about 27 minutes before being safely taken into custody by police and assisting WFPS members.

The suspect was taken to hospital for precautionary reasons, where he was medically cleared.

Members of the Major Crimes Unit continued with the investigation.

Sean-Leo Monchalin, 32, from Winnipeg has been charged with break enter and theft and was processed on two outstanding arrest warrants.

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Monchalin was detained in custody.

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