Suspect escapes by jumping in ocean, unknowingly swims feet from shark, police say

A drone deployed by Surf City Police showed a shark swimming about 60 feet from Zachary Kingsbury. In this screenshot, Kingsbury can be seen swimming in the left part of the frame. The shark can be seen at the bottom right hand corner of the photo.

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A drone deployed by Surf City Police showed a shark swimming about 60 feet from Zachary Kingsbury. In this screenshot, Kingsbury can be seen swimming in the left part of the frame. The shark can be seen at the bottom right hand corner of the photo.

Authorities in Surf City, North Carolina, say a fleeing suspect swam out to sea before being arrested more than three hours later at a neighboring town's beachfront.

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Surf City police said in a news release that an officer stopped a driver Wednesday and spotted "illegal contraband."

They said the driver jumped into the ocean and police used a drone to follow the swimming suspect. It recorded video footage of a shark swimming about 60 feet from him before it turned away.

The drone lost sight of him after an hour, more than 4,000 feet offshore.

After a sea and air search by multiple agencies, 20-year-old Zachary Kingsbury of Lynnwood, Washington, was arrested near a beach access point in North Topsail.

Kingsbury told authorities he jumped into the ocean because he was scared of getting in trouble.

"They told me there were a couple sharks circling me, but I didn't see any sharks when I was in the water, so I was not aware of that at the time," he said.

He faces multiple drug charges.

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