A Keokuk man is now behind bars after a police chase Thursday afternoon led to him driving his vehicle into the Mississippi River.
Jerome Charles Bertelli, 47, was driving north on South 7th Street at approximately 2:43 p.m. when a Keokuk police officer allegedly witnessed him driving through a posted road closed sign.
The officer tried to pull Bertelli over, but he refused and continued driving. After pulling onto Mississippi River Drive, Bertelli was reported to have driven through another set of barricades and off the Southside Boat Ramp into the river.
Bertilli managed to get out of the vehicle before swimming back to shore where officers were waiting.
Assistant Chief Jay Whitaker says crews from the Keokuk Emergency Corp. took a boat out on the river to retrieve the car but were unsuccessful.
Bertelli was charged with eluding, driving without drivers license and failure to obey a traffic control device. He is being held in the Lee County Correctional Facility.
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