Green Forest man dies by suicide in city park

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Green Forest man died earlier this month after hanging himself from the top of a light pole at Green Forest City Park.

According to a statement from Green Forest Police Chief John Bailey, the incident began at approximately 8 a.m. on June 19, when Green Forest police and fire department EMS were dispatched to the park for a reported suicide attempt.

“On their arrival, they found a man hanging from a lighting fixture on the top of a 20-foot pole,” Bailey wrote, adding that because of the timing of the incident and its location, the ninth annual Rat Race 5K, which was taking place at the same time with more than 250 participants, was rerouted around the park area.

According to Bailey’s statement, firefighters set up a ladder to reach the man and cut him loose before carrying him back to ground level.

“At the time of the rescue the man still had a pulse,” Bailey wrote, saying the man was transported to Mercy Hospital in Berryville, where he later died.

Witnesses to the incident spoke with officers and said they watched as the man climbed the pole.

According to Bailey, one witness began recording a video as the man was climbing the pole, telling officers he “didn’t realize the man was going to hang himself.”

Another witness attempted to speak with the subject but was unable to do so. According to Bailey, it is not known if the subject spoke or understood English and a person who knew the subject told police the man did not have any family in the United States.

Bailey also reported that, as of June 21, a police department interpreter said he had spoken with the subject’s sister, who was in another country. She said at the time that there was no change in her brother’s condition.

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