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Chase of meth suspect into creek contaminates deputies


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Two Bartholomew County deputies were rushed to a medical facility Thursday afternoon after wading through hazardous chemicals dropped into a creek during pursuit of a suspect believed to be manufacturing methamphetamine.

Deputies Klint Brown and Matt Bush complained of upper-respiratory problems after the chase, which began near a bridge crossing Haw Creek east of Clifford, said Major Todd Noblitt, spokesman for the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Noblitt said both officers had been dispatched to the area of County Road 600N and County Road 475E at 3 p.m. to investigate a complaint of suspicious activity.

When Brown and Bush were canvassing the area, they spotted a man under a bridge who appeared to be cooking methamphetamine, Noblitt said. When the deputies identified themselves, David Fleenor, 40, of Columbus, was seen throwing what was believed to be a bucket of chemicals into Haw Creek before jumping into the water himself, Noblitt said.

The two officers chased Fleenor into the creek, where Brown caught the suspect.

See Friday's Republic for more details.

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