Driver ‘combative’ with first responders after car plunges into Pembroke Pines canal

Michael Thomas Richard Alden, 49, arrested on numerous charges after crash

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A driver was hospitalized Tuesday night before being taken to jail after his car plunged into a Broward County canal, authorities confirmed.

First responders were quick to arrive and try to help the driver of that car, later identified as Michael Thomas Richard Alden, but at first he didn’t seem to want to come out.

It happened around 7 p.m. in a canal that runs on the north side of Sheridan Street near Northwest 184th Avenue in Pembroke Pines.

According to Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue, police and fire rescue personnel responded to the scene to find the vehicle partially submerged.

(Broward Sheriff's Office)

Fire Rescue officials said Alden, 49, “was initially combative and not cooperative,” but police were able to coerce him out of the vehicle.

Sky 10 was over the scene as Alden came out of the car with his hands up, trying to make it to dry land.

After reaching the shore, he got on his knees and then laid on the ground before SWAT team members placed him in handcuffs.

Video from Sky 10 showed Alden detained, surrounded by officers with long guns.

Police told Local 10 News that Alden went through a red light and lost control of the car, which went onto a dirt road and then into the canal.

He was taken to Memorial Hospital West in stable condition before being booked into the Broward County Main Jail.

Pembroke Pines police spokeswoman Amanda Conwell said drugs are believed to have been a factor in the crash.

Traffic was diverted on Sheridan Street as drivers were forced to turn around while police worked to resolve the issue.

“I don’t consider my inconvenience that big of a deal,” said Philippe Cassagnol, who lives nearby. “I would rather this is handled safely and properly. And, you know, that’s more important.”

Eventually the grey, Nissan Altima was lifted out of the canal, with water dripping from inside and damage to the front end.

Alden faces charges of possession of anabolic steroids with the intent to sell, failing to obey police or fire department officials, resisting an officer without violence and tampering with physical evidence.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for