Two men faced numerous charges after a 200km-long police pursuit through the northern rivers which ended with their arrest in the river at Ballina early on Saturday morning.
One of the men, a 37-year-old man, had been sought by police from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command after an incident near Coffs Harbour on Sunday 11 December.
Police will allege on that day, the man left an RBT site on the Pacific Highway at Macksville, then pointed a firearm at pursuing officers. Despite extensive searches, the man escaped after running into bushland at Valla about 35km south of Coffs Harbour.
Investigations continued into the whereabouts of the man when, shortly before 1am on Saturday, he was sighted at Woodburn, about 35km south of Ballina.
Police from Richmond Local Area Command tried to stop the man’s van but they allege the man drove at high speed to Lismore via Wyrallah Road, then onto the Bruxner Highway before turning onto Wardell Road at Alstonville and continuing to Wardell, about 12km south of Ballina.
At the South Ballina ferry terminal, the van was driven into the river and two men were seen swimming away.
The Queensland airwing, PolAir, joined local police in searching for the men, and about 2.15am officers in a boat arrested them.
The men, aged 37 and 24, were taken to Lismore police station, where the older man was charged with numerous offences including attemping to discharge a firearm with intent to resist arrest, break, enter and steal, not stopping during a police pursuit and receiving stolen property.
The younger man was charged with several offences incouding resisting police and receiving stolen property.
Both men were rfused bail to appear in Lismore Bail court at the weekend.
The van has been towed from the river and is being sent for forensic examination.