Man Who Jumped Into Bay in Thurston County to Elude Police and Drowned Has Been Identified


A man who drowned in East Bay while trying to elude police has been identified, according to the Thurston County Coroner.

The body of Austin J. McKoy, 26, of Thurston County washed ashore about 2:45 p.m. Saturday after he had jumped into the body of water near Swantown Marina on Nov. 6.

A resident in the area of the 1800 block of East Bay Drive spotted the body and called 911, Olympia police Lt. Paul Lower said Tuesday.

Olympia fire, police and the Coroner's Office responded to the area on Saturday. The body needed to be moved quickly because the tide was coming in, Lower said.

About 3:10 a.m. Nov. 6, police responded to a boat owner at Swantown who called 911 to report that a man had come aboard while he was asleep, brandishing a hammer, The Olympian reported.

The man was originally described as a burglary suspect, although based on the updated information it's not clear what he was intending to do.

The boat owner was able to take the hammer away, then the man ran off, down the dock and back onto land where he was spotted by marina security near Market Street and Franklin Street Northeast.

Police arrived and the officer got out of his vehicle to explain what he was responding to.

"I'm looking for a place to go to the bathroom," the man reportedly told the officer, then he ran off, heading east toward Marine Drive. He eventually jumped into East Bay and began to swim away.

The officer drove to the other side of the bay to meet him there, but then the man began to swim north. The officer then drove to Swantown Marina and walked out to the end of J dock, yelling at the man to swim to shore or the dock.

He was about 50 yards from the dock near a navigation marker and appeared to be treading water, according to police. At one point the officer thought he heard the man calling for help.

The man continued to swim or drift north until he was about 100 yards from the dock. By then the Olympia Fire Department had launched a boat and police called for the Thurston County dive team, but they were unable to find the man.