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Probation Officer Drowns While Chasing Suspect

By: Mike Waterhouse Email
By: Mike Waterhouse Email

May 24, 2007:
Click here for Harris' exclusive interview with WSAZ.

May 22, 2007:
Police have released the name of the officer who drowned in the Ohio River while chasing a suspect in Gallia County Tuesday.

Emergency crews found the body of the David Poling at around 2:30 am Wednesday.

Poling was a probation officer with the Gallipolis Municipal Court.

Police say the ordeal started just after 5pm Tuesday when Joseph Harris, 22 of Springfield, Ohio, was pulled over on a traffic stop in Gallipolis in the 900 block of 2nd Avenue.

Harris took off running and jumped into the Ohio River.

Police say Poling and other officers chased the suspect and followed him into the river. Poling started swimming to catch Harris, but went under water halfway to the island and never resurfaced.

Harris was caught around 7:00pm on the Gallipolis Island.

Poling was 32 years old and leaves behind a wife and two small children.

In a news release from the Gallipolis Police Department, Chief Clinton Patterson said, "Officer Poling was a well respeced and well liked member of the Gallia County law enforcement community and his death comes as a hard blow to his fellow law enforcement officers."

Officer Poling served with the both the Gallipolis Police Department and the Gallia County Sheriff's Department before he was appointed to probation officer.


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