A Ventura man wanted by police for failing to appear in court for traffic violations was arrested early Tuesday after swimming more than 250 feet out to sea and then returning to shore three hours later, authorities said.
David Ronald Olivera Jr. dodged the searchlights of a Ventura Harbor Patrol boat and an infrared body-heat sensor beaming from a police helicopter before he was arrested, police said.
At 6 a.m., more than three hours after the hunt began, Ventura police officers found him hiding in bushes near the Ventura County Fairgrounds off Harbor Boulevard, authorities said.
The case started about 2:30 a.m. when Officers Colin Spence and Cloyce Conway were patrolling the beachfront on foot and spotted a man bicycling without a headlight, which is legally required.
When they tried to stop him, the man raced off and then abandoned his bike near a fairground's campsite.
Police said he swam more than 250 feet out before returning to shore when the search was scaled back.
Olivera was being held on suspicion of resisting arrest and past charges from 1999 of driving at an unsafe speed and being an unlicensed driver. His bail was set at $15,000.