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Extra patrols for 'Floatopia' weekend

Party people at Emigrant Lake ON Saturday should be aware of extra Jackson County sheriff patrols after a man last year who caused quite an exit scene at “Floatopia.”

Floatopia is an annual “unsanctioned” party at the end of the school year that draws in crowds of drinkers and drug users resulting in a heightened amount of calls to the police department.

Last year’s event ended in a lengthy vehicle pursuit that involved several law enforcement agencies. Anthony Joseph Clark, a 23-year-old Grants Pass man who admitted to taking LSD, believed he was in a game of Grand Theft Auto. He stole a car, eluded officers for several miles and crashed the car through multiple industrial gates north of Walker Avenue.

Officers deployed spike strips in Talent, yet Clark continued driving despite the deflated tires. He drove north in the southbound lanes on Highway 99 in Phoenix, before attempting to ram a patrol car. Clark continued to flee on foot before attempting to steal a second vehicle. He was caught and arrested on several charges.

Clark was sentenced to jail, probation and a suspended driver’s license in December after pleading no-contest to felony counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle and attempting to elude police in a vehicle, along with misdemeanor counts of second-degree criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another person.

He was ordered to repay $5,792 in restitution, of which court records show he still owes $4,957.

“We had quite a few problems last year during Floatopia weekend,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Julie Denney. “This year, we hope people will make better choices and help keep the park enjoyable for everyone.”

Deputies will patrol the water and roads. Jackson County Parks employees will also monitor campground and day use areas.

Anyone not adhering to the park rules will have to leave.

Ride-share services are allowed in the park to help prevent impaired driving this weekend.

Jackson County Sheriff's office is sending extra patrols to Emigrant lake this weekend in anticipation of an end of the school year party, "Floatopia." The added security is in an effort to avoid similar dangerous situations which occurred last year. Photo courtesy of JCSO.{ }