PORTLAND, Maine – A Portland man drowned Sunday in Back Cove after fleeing police and jumping into the water, Lt. Robert Martin said.
The man, 25, whose identity was not immediately released, was the subject of a call to police about a woman being assaulted near the Miss Portland Diner on Marginal Way, PressHerald reported.
Responding Portland officers arrived on scene about 1:00 p.m. However, prior to their arrival at Marginal Way the man “fled across the interstate and made his way to the Back Cove running path,” Martin said in a statement. “Police located him on the trail near the I-295 off-ramps and witnessed him jump into the water.”
As a result, a fire department rescue boat was launched and pulled the man from the water, according to police.
“He was in the water for approximately 24 minutes,” Martin said. “The subject was treated on scene and then transported to the Maine Medical Center, where he died.”
The alleged assault victim, a 24-year-old woman, was “determined to be the girlfriend of the suspect,” Martin said.
She was released after treatment at Maine Med for injuries that were not life-threatening. “A witness to the incident tried to assist the victim and was also assaulted, but he did not require hospitalization,” Martin said.
UPDATE: Police identified the decedent as Eric Cohen, 25. They said he had a history of mental health problems and became seriously distressed as he and his girlfriend walked down Marginal Way near the Miss Portland Diner about 1 p.m., PressHerald reported.
Police say that Cohen unexpectedly stripped off his clothes and, as his girlfriend began to pick up articles of his clothing and attempted to calm him down, Cohen beat her unconscious. Cohen only stopped after the intervention of a bystander, who was also assaulted.
Editor’s note: We incorrectly identified this story as Portland, Oregon. Readers quickly pointed out it was Portland, Maine. Thank you!