Combative hiker rescued from Papago Park after fall


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Posted on March 16, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 18 at 10:12 AM

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PHOENIX -- A perfect Arizona day usually means a perfect Arizona hike, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday when Phoenix firefighters were called out to Papago Park after a man fell and couldn't move.

“He was on a very steep area of the mountain, approximately 90 degrees, and in a very bad spot to be in,” said Phoenix Fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs. “If he had slipped or fallen, he would've fell to his death."

Concerned hikers called 911 around 9:30 a.m. to report an adult man standing in a cliff area where there was not footing or hand holds available.

To get the stranded hiker off the ledge, about 300 feet above the park, the Phoenix Fire Department had to call in tactical climbers.

“They actually fired some anchors into the rock behind us and actually did a rappel down to him and were able to communicate with him enough to get a harness on him,” Jacobs explained.

He was pulled to the top of the mountain where he reportedly became combative with rescue crews.

They were able to secure him in a basket and carry him off the mountain. He was taken to a local hospital.

It is unknown how he ended up on the ledge or why he was combative with rescuers.

“We know that his vital signs are not life-threatening, but we are unsure if it's a medical condition or if it's something else that's involved, some type of mental illness," Jacobs said Sunday morning. "We just don't know about his mental capacity and why he's in the situation he is."

The hiker had not been identified Sunday morning, so the fire department wasn’t sure if he lives in the Valley or was visiting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.