A man fleeing from Macon police dropped to his death down a deep ravine shortly before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday behind stores on Presidential Parkway.
Macon Police Chief Mike Carswell said the officer on the midnight shift found two suspicious men in a vehicle behind the Dick's Sporting Goods.
"At some point, both subjects attempted to flee. The white male subject was arrested and subdued. The black male continued to run and at some point he jumped over the fence behind these buildings," Carswell said, while on the scene behind Target.
The victim dropped down an estimated 50 to 60 feet, Carswell said.
Macon police Sgt. Melanie Hofmann said the officer pepper sprayed the man he took into custody while the other ran and started climbing the fence.
"The officer told him, 'Don't jump here, man,'" Hofmann said, because the policeman knew of the dangerous drop.
The man went over the fence anyway.
By the time police could safely make their way down to him, he was dead, according to a Macon police news release.
Officers called in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to assist with the probe of the incident because of the circumstances.
An Internal Affairs investigator was also called to the scene.
Macon-Bibb County firefighters and police stood by, presumably as evidence was collected and photographs were taken.
The body was retrieved as of about 7:40 a.m.
Rescuers had to cut a hole in the chain link fence behind the shopping center so that crews could make their way down the steep cliff.
They loaded the body into a Stokes rescue basket and several men pulled on a rope to bring it up the ravine.
Officers blocked the back alley behind the shopping center as the investigation and recovery effort was underway.
By 8:15 a.m., the crime scene tape was removed and trucks began making their deliveries as usual.
Copyright 2013 - The Macon Telegraph
McClatchy-Tribune News Service