By Joe Gomez & Giles Hudson | CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A man in Rowlett was hoping for a ride across Lake Ray Hubbard on Wednesday night. Instead, he was tossed off a bridge and into the lake.

23-year-old Mario Ottesen says he was waiting at a rest area along Highway 66 near Lake Ray Hubbard for his girlfriend when a van full of men in their late teens or 20s offered him a ride across the lake. 

“They started heading in that direction and it just got kind of quiet — I got that awkward feeling,” said Ottesen. “Immediately, they just slammed on the brakes and corralled me out.”

Ottesen says several men punched him and dragged him out of the van before finally tossing him over the side of the bridge on Lakeview Parkway.

With lake levels low, Ottesen landed in a muddy area — not water. He became stuck in the mud and couldn’t get himself free.

“Stepped in, fell in, crawled out. Stepped in, fell in, crawled out. I did that like 20 different times until I couldn’t even work my way back to the bridge. Eventually I was just stuck.”

The victim did have a phone and used it to call 9-1-1.

Dallas Police and Dallas Fire-Rescue, which have oversight of the lake, arrived and eventually called for a hovercraft from Wylie to assist in rescuing Ottesen.

He was taken away by police to be questioned, but was not injured.

Police are still searching for the suspects and vehicle involved in the incident. Ottesen says there were five men in the van at the time.

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