Editor’s Note: In the original version of this story published in print on Wednesday, July 22, a quote was pulled and erroneously attributed to Hazard Fire Chief Sam Stacy; this quote actually came from Perry County Sheriff Les Burgett. This error was not made in the online version of the story. The Herald apologizes for any inconvenience and confusion this may have caused.
AIRPORT GARDENS— Police rescued a man from the North Fork River last week after he had allegedly jumped in of his own accord.
Police say they received a call around noon on Thursday, July 16, that a man was floating down the river near the Perry County Park on a log. The man was identified as Danny Napier, more commonly known by his nickname of “Tincan.”
Perry County Sheriff Les Burgett was on the scene of the incident.
“From our understanding, and we will check into it, we will be investigating it, he got released from the psych ward, and had come out, threatened to kill himself,” Burgett said.
Witnesses at the scene said Napier had refused to get out of the water after police told him to. He had allegedly threatened to kill himself. Witnesses also noted that several times Napier’s head had went under water, but would emerge shortly after.
Police managed to get Napier, after he released the log and climbed onto a sandbar, out of the water near the Cherokee Hills.
Hazard Fire Chief Sam Stacy said Napier was lucky to have been rescued when he was.
“If he had gone down any further, he would have ended up dead,” Stacy said, noting that if Napier had gone further down to where the new Glomawr bridge was built, then he would have been sucked up into the water ducts.
Police had originally taken Napier into police custody, but he was taken by ambulance to the hospital because he had shown signs of seizure like activity, according to Burgett.
“As we got him out, he took a seizure, so if he took that seizure out in the water, we couldn’t saved him,” he said.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.