A North Carolina man allegedly attempted to elude police on Wednesday by diving into the ocean and swimming away — but unknowingly he was just feet away from a shark while trying the brazen escape.
Zachary Kingsbury, 20, was pulled over for a traffic stop just before 5 p.m. in Surf City, according to WECT.
He allegedly tried to escape when officers spotted illegal contraband inside the vehicle and asked him to exit the car. Kingsbury jumped into the ocean and began swimming away, leading to an hours-long standoff, officials said.
Within an hour, Kingsbury was reportedly 4,000 feet from the shore, and the Surf City Police Department launched a drone to track the escapee.
“At that point, the operation became a rescue operation,” police said in a statement.
But as police were trying to save Kingsbury, they noticed a shark swimming near the man, drone footage showed.
Police were able to nab Kingsbury about 7:45 p.m., according to the Charlotte Observer.
“I would’ve drowned after 10 minutes…dude’s an animal,” a witness wrote in a Facebook post.
Kingsbury was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine, and possession of marijuana of up to a half an ounce.