Ice melt on shore of Assiniboine River at walking bridge. Photo by Marie Friesen.

A police pursuit turned icy when a suspect jumped into the Assiniboine River to evade police on Thursday.

According to Winnipeg police, officers and the K9 unit were called to a business on Portage Avenue near Assiniboine Park after a man was seen damaging a closed business's front door.

Police said the man entered the business and stole an empty cash register before leaving on foot.

Officers followed the suspect using fresh tracks in the snow.

As officers got close, police said the man jumped into the Assiniboine River, alternating between swimming in the open water and falling through thin ice. The suspect allegedly yelled at officers while trying to elude them.

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service deployed two water rescue members into the water and on the ice in an attempt to rescue the suspect. The man refused help for a lengthy period while moving up and down the river, police said.

In total, police said the man was in the water or on ice for approximately 27 minutes before being safely taken into custody.

The suspect was taken to hospital as a precaution and has since been medically cleared.

Sean-Leo Monchalin, 32, has been charged with breaking and entering and theft. He was also processed on two outstanding arrest warrants.

Monchalin was detained in custody. No charges have been proven in court.

Members of the Major Crimes Unit continue with the investigation.