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Rangers Disrupt Suicide Attempt

Prince William Forest Park

National Park News

Ranger Dave Ballam contacted a man who appeared to be sleeping in a vehicle at the Pine Grove picnic area around 6:40 p.m. on March 5th. While ranger Benjamin Byrnes headed to Ballam’s location to back him up, Ballam was able to identify the operator and determined that he had a warrant against him out of Florida, with no extradition requested. When Byrnes got there, the two rangers attempted to wake the man, but found that he was slow and lethargic, with labored and shallow breathing. He also had difficulty opening the vehicle’s door. Although the rangers suspected that he was drunk, no signs of alcohol or illicit drugs were found in the vehicle. But they discovered about a score of empty prescription bottles with the man’s name on them. The rangers later determined that he’d taken 50 Ambien sleeping pills along with the contents of the other containers and that he had a history of medical problems and had traveled from Ashville, North Carolina, to come to his “favorite place” to attempt suicide. He was taken to Potomac Hospital for initial treatment, then flown to Fairfax Hospital. He was placed on a 72 hour psychiatric watch and is continuing treatment for complications related to the overdose.



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