VALE, Ore. (AP) Cowboy Mike, a wandering ladies man suspected in the disappearance of four women and the wounding of another, was captured Friday after a shootout and a desperate attempt to swim to freedom in the swift and murky Snake River.
Michael John Braae, 41, led officers on 13-mile gun battle and chase before police shot out a tire on his pickup. He stopped on a bridge and leaped 40 feet into the water. He swam and floated 21/2 miles downstream until a deputy sent in a dog on a long leash, and Braae surrendered.
Braae had last been seen late last week, in a bar in Yakima, Wash., with 50-year-old Marchelle Morgan, authorities said. On Sunday, she was found shot in the head in the bushes by the side of a road. She was in critical condition Friday.
Braae, who wears Western hats and boots, is also suspected in the disappearance or death of four other women in Washington and Oregon since 1997. All had been seen talking with him, authorities said.
Hes known as a womanizer, known to pick up women in taverns, Yakima County Sheriffs Lt. Dan Garcia said. Hes not from anywhere; hes from here and there.
The chase began after Braae was spotted at a truck stop along Interstate 84 in Idaho. Officers put spikes on the road, but Braae got past them. No one was hurt in the shootout.
When the police dog was sent into the river, Braae tried to drown it, but it bit his clothing, Malheur County Sheriff Andrew Bentz said. With the dog holding on to Braaes clothing, authorities used the animals leash to pull both of them to a boat.
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