Pasco deputies rescue, revive suspect who jumped in canal

Jeral Bornstein, Pasco County Jail booking photo
Jeral Bornstein, Pasco County Jail booking photo

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Two Pasco County deputies saved the life of a man who had tried to run into them during a traffic stop.

It happened Wednesday night after a pursuit on US 19/SR 52. The chase ended at Westport Drive and Seabreeze Drive.

Deputies say 40-year-old Jeral Bornstein was driving a blue Jeep that was involved in the chase. They had been looking for that vehicle, which was believed to be connected to a retail theft.

When deputies tried pull the vehicle over, they said Bornstein took off and swerved the Jeep at a patrol car, causing the deputy to take evasive action to avoid a collision. The deputies pursued Bornstein, who eventually stopped the Jeep, jumped out and ran. Then, investigators said, Bornstein ended up in a canal and struggled to swim.

“He started calling out out near the end that he couldn’t swim,” said Deputy John Riyad, who saved the suspect’s life.

Deputies went into the water and rescued Bornstein, who was unresponsive when he was brought to shore. Multiple deputies performed CPR and attached an AED, bringing the suspect back to life before fire rescue arrived.

Bornstein was taken to an area hospital. Deputies said he told them he took off because he did not have a driver’s license.

“It’s changing hats sometimes, ya know. We’re chasing after him try to get him into custody … But if it gets to the point his life is in danger, we need to change hats and try to save him as well,” Riyad said.

Deputies talked to Bornstein at the hospital. He told them he was remorseful for what had happened, but more so, was very thankful they saved his life.

Bornstein is charged with fleeing and eluding and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

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