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COSTA MESA : Man Whose Swim Gained Attention Held in Abuse Case

A 61-year-old man who received national attention by swimming two miles with his 4-year-old daughter has been arrested on suspicion of spousal abuse, police said Tuesday.

Irv Krespi was arrested shortly after noon Monday after allegedly striking his 36-year-old estranged wife in an apartment complex in Costa Mesa, said Capt. Tom Lazar.

“The victim called police and said her husband was intoxicated and had struck her several times with his fists and pulled her hair,” Lazar said. “She sustained minor injuries to her right wrist and her right thigh.”

Krespi’s wife told police that the attack had occurred Sunday evening; she reported it Monday.

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On Aug. 15, 1993, Krespi swam with his daughter, Ariel, now 5, between the Newport and Balboa piers as the news media recorded the event. The pair made the swim after Krespi said malignant melanoma had been found in his left eye and he wanted to do something with his daughter so she would remember him after his death.

On the night of the swim, Krespi was arrested for misdemeanor spousal abuse, to which he pleaded guilty a month later and was sentenced to two years of probation.

Krespi is now being held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $15,000.


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