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Decatur Police are considering charges against a man who apparently swam across the main Tennessee River channel twice Sunday while at least six local police, fire and rescue departments searched for about three hours for a possible drowning victim.

Lt. Jonathan Green, police public information officer, said police are looking into the possibility that the missing man watched them, Morgan County and Athens-Limestone rescue squads, Alabama Marine Police, Decatur Emergency Medical Services and Decatur Fire and Rescue as they searched west of the U.S. 31 bridge.

The 33-year man apparently walked from his home at 15th Avenue Southeast to the private dock in front of condos near Rhodes Ferry Park. Two witnesses saw a white male jump off a private pier at about 10:10 p.m. They never saw the person resurface.

Green said the man apparently swam to the Riverwalk Marina and watched the search from the Hard Dock Cafe`. He later swam back across the river.

Divers were in the water searching for the person until Monday at 1:15 a.m.

Green said his department received a call of a wet man matching the missing man's description in the area of Oak and Vine streets. A patrol car found the wet man in the same area.

"We think he may have used his cell phone to make that call," Green said.

Green said investigators have not interviewed the man, who could face a charge of filing a false report. He said department policy does not allow him to release the man's name because criminal charges are being considered.

William "Ski" Szczepanski of the Morgan County Rescue Squad said many involved in the search felt like the man wasted their time.

"There were a lot of mad people," he said of those involved in the search. "There's a lot of liability involved in a search of this kind."


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I feel for the search people but how was this man to know all that activity was because of him. If they can prove he did in out of malice, then I hope they book him.

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