Police: Man jumps into river to avoid arrest after beating girlfriend

Police said a man who severely beat his girlfriend jumped into a river Friday in an attempt to escape from authorities in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

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Officials said Joseph Boots jumped into the Connoquenessing River to avoid being arrested after he got into a fight with his girlfriend early Friday and beat her.

"She had severe injuries to the face, swollen eyes and jawbones that made her unrecognizable," Franklin Township police Chief Rudy Harkins said.

According to a criminal complaint, Boots' girlfriend said that "he held her down and punched the left side of her face" and she "lost consciousness during the assault."

Police said Boots ran when officers tried to arrest him, and a police K-9 found him.

"The canine, shortly into the pursuit ... (saw) that the dog tracked (Boots) down to the creek, and halfway into the creek was the actor standing in waist-deep water," Harkins said.

The cold water meant officers and firefighters had to work to get Boots out of the river.

"The air temperature was approximately 2 degrees, the water temperature was warmer. Due to that, the hypothermia took over, he wasn't able to make it to the other side," said Harkins. "He became scared and stopped, but didn't have the power to return to us neither."

Boots was treated at a hospital, arrested and taken to the Beaver County Jail. His girlfriend was transferred to Allegheny General Hospital with multiple broken bones and a concussion.