‘I’m not jumping in after you’: Police release details into man’s drowning with officers nearby

Police in Arizona released body camera footage related to an incident where a man died after jumping in a lake. (Source: Arizona's Family)
Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 7:03 PM EDT
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TEMPE, Ariz. (Arizona’s Family/Gray News) - Police in Arizona released body camera footage and a transcript related to a recent incident where a man died after jumping in a lake with officers at the scene.

Arizona’s Family reports a 12-minute video shows officers talking to a man, later identified as Sean Bickings, and another woman near the Tempe City of the Arts and the Tempe Town Lake on May 28.

The video starts with Bickings sitting on a bench. One officer stays with Bickings, while two others go toward a woman who says she was Bickings’ wife. The woman told police they got into an argument but insisted everything was OK.

Minutes later, Bickings is seen on the video climbing over a bar and walking down to the lake, saying, “I’m going for a swim.” An officer tells Bickings that he can’t swim in the lake.

Police transcripts say an officer then asked Bickings what his plan was, and the man responded, “I’m going to drown. I’m going to drown.”

An officer then tells Bickings to swim to the pylon. Bickings says he can’t, and the officer replies, “OK, I’m not jumping in after you,” according to the transcript.

The transcript continues with Bickings asking officers to help him and the woman telling the officers to save him. An officer then tells the woman that another officer is getting a boat.

According to the transcript, the woman said, “I’m just distraught because he’s drowning right in front of you, and you won’t help.” An officer then says Bickings hasn’t come up for about 30 seconds.

Police said Bickings was pulled out of the water by Tempe’s fire and rescue team and pronounced deceased.

According to officials, Bickings was reportedly trying to escape arrest because of various warrants.

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