‘I’m not jumping in after you:’ Man drowned in Tempe Town Lake as police watched, transcripts reveal

Three police officers have been placed on administrative leave after they reportedly watched as a man drowned in Tempe Town Lake, transcripts revealed.

The incident began as a reported domestic violence situation at Tempe Beach Park between the man, identified as Sean Bickings, and his wife. Both denied that any fight had taken place.

When officers were called, Bickings reportedly tried to run away from them by fleeing into the lake. He was unable to get out of the water, and eventually drowned.

Bickings was later found by Tempe Fire’s Dive and Rescue team in a portion of Tempe Town Lake located near the Tempe Center of the Arts. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a transcript of conversations released by Tempe Police, an officer, only identified as ‘Officer 1,’ was noted as telling Bickings that he won’t be going into the lake.

“I’m drowning,” Bickings, noted as ‘victim’ in the transcript, said.

“Come back over to the pylon,” an officer, noted as ‘Officer 2’ in the transcript, said.

“I can’t. I can’t (inaudible),” said Bickings.

“OK, I’m not jumping in after you,” said Officer 1.


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