Tragedy Averted

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Frank La Spisa/Roundup

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Frank La Spisa/Roundup

A 40-year-old man who was threatening to commit suicide by jumping from a 300-foot Qwest communication tower on West Frontier Street safely descended Tuesday after three hours atop the tower, police said.

Camn Boal, who eyewitnesses said was intoxicated and screaming at times while on the tower, was taken to a local hospital for non life-threatening injuries, police said. Charges are pending.

Local mom Megan Byus was sitting with others from the Moms Club across the street from the tower, watching their kids play in the front yard when Boal approached the group holding what looked like a bag.

“It really scared me,” Byus said. “I didn’t know if he had a weapon.”

Boal, who Byus said was stumbling and obviously intoxicated, eventually started climbing the tower. That’s when Byus said she called 911.

The Payson Police Department received reports at about 3 p.m. Byus said authorities arrived in minutes, when Boal was approximately half-way up the tower.

“We were all panicking on the inside but we had to stay calm to keep the children calm,” Byus said.

Police said they closed West Frontier Street to cars and pedestrians. On Main Street, where the tower was in sight, a police officer sat in a parking lot monitoring the situation, and down the street small crowds watched the event unfold.

Back where Byus and other moms were trapped on West Frontier, the host mom cooked a spaghetti dinner.

“He was screaming so we had to turn on the TV really loudly,” Byus said. “It’s the last thing you expect on a play date.”

Byus said police kept them well-informed, the 911 operator was calm and instructed her to keep the children inside.

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