2 surfing on flooded Great Miami arrested after asking for help, leaving

SIDNEY — Two men are behind bars on and facing charges of inducing panic after allegedly surfing on the swollen Great Miami River.

Passersby spotted the men in the water shortly before 5 p.m., and the men also had asked someone to call for help after they apparently fell in the river in the area of Ohio 47 and Port Huron Drive.

“We had prepared for a water rescue,” Shelby County Sheriff’s Sgt. Joel Howell said. “We weren’t exactly sure if they were in the water.”

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However, deputies received word the pair, who were wet and carrying an oar, were just south of town.

“They ended up going to jail for inducing panic, the reason being they left after asking somebody to call for help for them,” said Howell, who added that the men apparently admitted seeing at least one deputy respond.

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Andrew S. Cook Jr., 25, and Garrett M. Pickiering, 26, were each booked on suspicion of inducing panic into the Shelby County Jail, where they await Monday morning court dates, according to online records.

Howell said the river is especially dangerous because it is flooded over the banks, full of debris and has a swift current.

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