The newly heroic Newman emerged and reached out to shake an awaiting officer's hand ...
... but instead of receiving a commemorative statue or a gift certificate for a free buffet or some shit, the officer immediately slapped a handcuff onto Newman's outstretched wrist for the impropriety of ignoring police orders. According to the police, Newman had interfered with their duties by refusing to get out of the river when ordered to do so.
"If you'd just listened, he could've drowned, and we could all be home by now!"
Let's put that another way: Newman was arrested for saving a drowning man's life by diving in after him, which interfered with the police officers' preferred lifesaving method, which consisted of standing on the river bank yelling at people to get out of the goddamn river. For his unforgivably heroic deed, Newman received a cash award of negative $2,000, plus an all-expenses-paid night in the slammer. And to add bureaucratic insult to financial injury, the subsequent police report didn't even give him credit for the rescue.