Hunt on for Visalia man who jumped into frigid river to escape cops

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County Sheriff's deputies are searching for 47-year-old Andrew Sedillo on the ground, in the river, and by air.

Sedillo was last seen going underwater in the south fork of the St. John's River at around 8 a.m.

Sheriff's officials say that was the second time he jumped in the river to avoid being arrested.

They don't know if he ever made it to the other side of the fork.

"There was one lady not involved that seems to think that there may have been an individual that had wet clothing on about an hour after the fact that may have been walking in a northerly direction," said Tulare County Sheriff's Captain Mark Gist. "But it's not substantiated information. However we have to follow up on all leads."

MORE: Visalia man chokes K-9 officer while police attempt to arrest him for domestic violence

It all started at around 7:40 a.m., when a sheriff's deputy was looking for another wanted man.

In the process, he came upon Sedillo, who allegedly gave the deputy a fake name and dropped a meth pipe.

Before he could be arrested, he jumped in the river.

The sheriff's swiftwater dive rescue team responded to the scene, starting with a surface search due to poor visibility in the water.

They eventually put divers into the frigid river.

Lt. Kevin Kemmerling is reminding the public of water dangers during this time of the year.

"We've had one of the best snow years we've had in about a decade," Kemmerling said. "And all that water is going to start coming down. It's going to start coming down very swiftly, with a lot of force and it's going to be extremely cold. So please, we want to tell everybody to stay out of the water until later in the summer when the flows go down and the water temperature warms up."

Sedillo, who was on probation for assault with a deadly weapon, had three active warrants out for his arrest.

He has a lengthy criminal history in Tulare County, including an incident in Visalia last year, in which police say he choked one of their K-9 officers while being pursued for domestic violence charges.

The sheriff's office says they have made contact with Sedillo's family.

He was last seen wearing a grey long sleeve shirt and khaki pants.
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