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Forsyth kidnapping suspect attempts to swim away in Lake Lanier
Kip Smith- kidnapping mug

CUMMING — Lake Lanier was filled with boaters and swimmers looking to enjoy the Memorial Day holiday in the sun, but one 20-year-old Cumming man went on a swim in an attempt to flee from deputies after he reportedly kidnapped his girlfriend.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Kip Smith Jr. was apparently fighting with the 19-year-old woman about 12:45 p.m. Monday in the front yard of a home on Forest Circle, near Chattahoochee Elementary School.

According to Robin Regan, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Smith left the neighborhood northeast of Cumming with the young woman as deputies arrived.

A 911 caller had said the woman was not allowed out of a vehicle by Smith before he drove away. When patrol cars pursued him, he refused to stop before jumping out of the vehicle and running off, according to Regan.

The sheriff’s office set up a perimeter that included patrol units, while marine, bicycle and K9 units were available for backup, enclosing Smith as he swam in Lanier, Regan said.

The suspect eventually came to shore at the top of Young Deer Creek near Duckcove Way and the Shady Grove RV Park.

The girl was found by the vehicle with no physical injuries.

As of Wednesday, Smith remained in the Forsyth County Detention Center without bond before seeing a judge, Regan said.

He faces 16 charges, including kidnapping of an adult, assault, false imprisonment, first-degree damage to property, theft, obstruction of law enforcement officers and various traffic offenses.