Florida Men Lead Police on Canoe Chase

Two men wanted for a host of charges attempted to flee authorities in North Florida by paddling away on a river for hours. And they would have gotten away with it, too, if the cops hadn't gotten their hands on one of those cutting-edge, go-fast "motor" boats.

Garrett Eure, 23, of Gainesville, and Jessie Bryant, also 23, of Fort Pierce had been chilling in a safehouse with Eure's girlfriend Cassandra, avoiding arrest for armed burglary and battery by strangulation, among other charges. Somehow they caught wind of the lawman's arrival, and the chase was on, according to the Gainesville Sun:

Using two wooden paddles, the fugitives managed to elude authorities for about five hours before they were caught at the Southwest County Road 141 bridge after a 9-mile journey down the river...

Eure and Bryant suspected that authorities had found them and they ran to the Withlacoochee River, climbed into a canoe and tried to escape, the release said.

Officials used K9s to track the fugitives on foot and then a motorboat to chase and catch the fugitives on the river, the release said.

The small blue canoe the men used was filled with a cooler and several backpacks, said Russell Williams, a freelance photographer who was present during the arrests.

Williams says that as he was snapping pictures of the arrest scene and one of the fugitives was being led away in cuffs, the perp relayed a message to the photographer.

"The nicer looking one, Bryant, told me, 'I hope you got my good side,' " Williams said.

[Photo credits: Madison County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office]