Michigan Cops Convince Jumper to Come Down from Construction Mast at Casino

Posted on: August 10, 2021, 08:26h. 

Last updated on: August 11, 2021, 08:22h.

A suicidal man was persuaded by police to come down from a towering elevator mast at a construction site at Michigan’s Island Resort & Casino. He was taken into protective custody on Sunday after the harrowing experience.

He was threatening to jump to the ground
The entrance to Michigan’s Island Resort & Casino. The casino’s construction site was the scene of a potential suicide Sunday. Local police convinced a man to come down from a high mast. (Image: On Milwaukee)

The unnamed 34-year-old Escanaba, Mich. man escaped injury after climbing what appears to be over 100 feet at the Harris, Mich. gaming property. He was threatening to jump to the ground, according to a report from Michigan-based Radio Results Network.

Sheriff’s deputies intervened and talked to the man as they stood atop the casino’s roof.

Three members from the Menominee County Sheriff’s Office Negotiator Team spoke to the subject from the roof of the hotel for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes before he agreed to come down,” according to a statement posted on Facebook by the Hannahville Tribal Police Department.

It appears he entered the construction site and climbed up the construction elevator mast, the tribal police said.

The elevator mast scales the outside of the approximate 122-foot Island Resort & Casino, police add. 

To reach the man, an elevator operator from Gundlach Champion construction company used the elevator to lift officers and Menominee firefighters to the top of the mast. They then assisted the man.

The Island Resort & Casino is owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community. The community is a federally-recognized Potawatomi Indian Tribe that resides in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Suicides Occur at Casinos

While it was unclear what led the man to threaten suicide at the Island Resort & Casino, suicides do sometimes take place at gaming properties.

Earlier this year, Dr. James P. Whelan, who directs the Institute for Gambling Education and Research at the University of Memphis, told Casino.org that suicidal incidents at casinos can follow bouts of depression and other disorders sometimes associated with addictive gambling.

For instance, in January, an unnamed 29-year-old Philadelphia woman jumped from an upper floor of Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino Resort parking garage onto the street below, where she died, police said.

Another incident took place last October, when a 28-year-old Kentucky woman fatally shot herself at South Dakota’s Buffalo Bodega Gaming Complex while on the dance floor at a Halloween party.

Some suicidal people will go to casinos to commit suicide because they are public places, Whelan confirmed. Also, gambling venues can draw at-risk individuals who need cash or access to cash, Whelan said.

Suicide Risk in Las Vegas

Suicide is a risk in the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, too.

In recent years, the entire state of Nevada ranked between the fourth- and 11th-highest US states in suicide rates, according to the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention. More than half of those who commit suicide in Nevada fatally shoot themselves.

For prevention information, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 800-273-8255, or text TALK to 741741.