Police: Man who jumped from Ravenel Bridge offered cops 'coke'

A man jumped from the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge early Monday after leading police on a brief chase.

Authorities continued to search the Charleston Harbor throughout the day and will continue the search Tuesday, Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis said. The man's identity has not been released.

According to the Charleston Police Department, just after 5:30 a.m. Monday, an officer spotted a man in a black vehicle circling the parking lot at 475 East Bay St.

The man drove toward the officer, rolled down his window, made incoherent statements and held up a plastic bag with a white powdery substance inside, according to the police report.

The man asked the officer, "Wanna do ... some lines of coke, man?" according to the report.

When an officer approached him, he sped off.

The officer tried to stop the man again at East Bay and Columbus streets, but he sped up and drove onto the Ravenel Bridge, throwing "small baggies" of a white powder out of the car window, according to the report.

Because of the suspect's speed, the officer turned off his blue lights and slowed down. He then watched as the suspect stopped his car at the top of the bridge, got out and scaled the concrete barrier to the pedestrian lane and a fence to jump off the bridge, according to the report.

Charleston, Mount Pleasant and North Charleston police, the Charleston County Rescue Squad and the Coast Guard all participated in the search.

The pedestrian walkway and the two far right lanes on the northbound side of the bridge were closed from about 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

At least 10 people have jumped or fallen from the bridge since the Ravenel Bridge opened to traffic in July 2005, and all but one died.

A fall from the bridge is difficult to survive. Jumpers hit the water's surface traveling more than 40 feet per second, The Post and Courier has reported. Many suffer injuries from broken necks to fractured ribs and lacerated livers, and those survive the fall often drown, likely too disoriented or injured to swim to safety.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter. Andy Paras contributed to this story.