80ºF

Man found by San Pedro Creek was skateboarding in drainage tunnels says friend

Gary Harrison's body found near automated trash rack system on creek

SAN ANTONIO – The man whose body was pulled from the San Pedro Creek was skateboarding in drainage tunnels before water swept him away said a man who was with him. 

Josh Richards, 37, said he and Gary Harrison, 36, were washed through drainage tunnels early Thursday morning. Richards survived the ordeal, but Harrison's body was not discovered until about 6:30 a.m. Friday when maintenance crews checked the trash rack system in the 700 block of Camaron Street. 

Richards declined to be interviewed on camera but agreed to share the details of his story with KSAT 12. 

Richards said he and Harrison went into a drainage tunnel near the intersection of W. Ashby Place and Aganier Avenue a little before 2 a.m. to skateboard. They went farther in to check out graffiti, he said. 

When they heard the rumbling of water they tried to escape, Richards said, but water poured into the tunnels and swept them away.   

Richards said he and Harrison were able to hold onto one another for the most part until they were dumped out into the San Pedro Creek. As they hit the creek, they were separated, and Richards said he didn't see Harrison again. 

Richards said he was swept to the same trash rack where Harrison was eventually found. Hanging on to the trash rack, he was lifted out of the water, covered in scrapes and bruises. Harrison was nowhere to be seen.  

A police spokesman said Richards came out of the water around 4:30 a.m. Thursday and because of the poor weather they left rescue operations to the fire department. A spokesman for the fire department said they arrived on the scene at 4:45 a.m. and conducted a search though it was unsuccessful. 

SAPD dispatch also received a call for a missing person at 3:50 p.m. Thursday.


About the Author: