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Man allegedly left in retention pond for hours following IMPD chase

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In an audio file released by Indy10 Black Lives Matter July 31, it appears the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) may have let an 18-year-old suspect stay under water for several hours before retrieving him.

In the early hours of June 29, 2019, Keshawn Stewart allegedly jumped into a retention pond near a West Side apartment complex, according to IMPD. According to IMPD records, officers were responding to a potential burglary at roughly 4 a.m. 

In the video, time-stamped at 4:20 a.m., an unidentified female officer can be heard calling the Indianapolis Fire Department requesting a “water rescue” because “There was a male burglarizing a house, and he decided he wants to stay underneath the water.”

In an interview with the Indianapolis Star following his son’s death, Stewart’s father, Keenan Stewart, said his son, who was 5 foot 10 inches, could swim. IFD spokesperson Rita Reith told the Indianapolis Star Stewart drowned just 15 feet from the shore, in water that was 6 feet deep. 

“I’m just really concerned,” Stewart told the Indianapolis Star. “A lot of the details — it was just in pieces. There were gaps.”

Roughly 30 minutes after the initial dispatch call, at 4:57 a.m., an unidentified male officer called operations to tell them Stewart’s body had been recovered. 

The time stamps, however, creates some confusion. While speaking with operations, the officer tells dispatch Stewart entered the water at 1:17 a.m. However, IMPD announced in a press release officers responded to a call around 4 a.m., almost three hours after Stewart allegedly went underwater. 

The video shared by Indy10 alleges there were 21 officers on the scene throughout the incident. 

The Recorder has reached out to IMPD and is awaiting comment. 

In response, IMPD spokesperson Aliya Wishner said the information provided in the call was not accurate. 

” … Radio traffic reflects as-it’s-happening, preliminary communications, and can sometimes result in unreliable information,” Wishner wrote. ” … In this instance, the report that Mr. Stewart went into the water at 1:17 a.m. was inaccurate. … Officers were not dispatched on this run until 4:12 a.m., and in fact called for a water rescue within minutes of Mr. Stewart entering the water.”

 

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