Man swims river to escape police

By David Hedges, Publisher

A Roane man who allegedly stole a car in downtown Spencer swam across the Little Kanawha River to escape police chasing him in Wirt County.

After swimming across the river Steven Roscoe Smith, 27, of Clarkson Run, spent the night in a barn before he was arrested the next day in Elizabeth.

Police said Smith covered his wet body with burlap sacks while hiding out in the barn on a night when temperatures dropped below freezing.

The wild ride began a little after 1 p.m. last Wednesday when Michael Wilson reported his 1997 Jeep Wrangler stolen from Main Street in Spencer.

Spencer Police Chief Gary Williams said the keys had been left inside the vehicle, which was parked in front of Serenity Cup Café.

Local police departments were alerted to be on the lookout for the vehicle. Sgt. T.D. Corbitt of the State Police detachment in Elizabeth spotted the Jeep Wednesday evening in Wirt County...

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