Rangers responded to a series of incidents in late February and early March:
Ranger Richard Biurgren joined local police and EMS personnel in a response to a suicide attempt on February 20th. The still-conscious man was taken to the visitor center parking lot and treated, then taken to a local hospital.
On March 1st, rangers joined Cobb County officers and firefighters in a search for a missing man. The man, a long-time park visitor and naturalist, had left a note for his family saying that he didn’t want to be a burden to them and was leaving. Anthony Winegar, the park’s chief ranger, began setting up a perimeter along a five-mile-long section of the park’s busy trail system when police located his cell phone signal with the aid of the man’s cell phone provider. The signal indicated that he was in the park and near the rear of a neighbor’s house. While rangers and police were waiting for a search dog to pick up the man’s track, the man’s family checked the house again for any signs of him and found his body in an attic crawl space. Rangers then assisted with managing the scene and interviewing the family members.
Later on March 1st, and while the above incident was still in progress, a man drove the park on State Route 120 while injecting himself with heroin. After narrowly missing a high school track team running on the sidewalk, he caused a traffic accident when drivers attempted to avoid his vehicle. He then drove eastbound in the westbound lanes, forcing a police vehicle to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision but hitting another. Police had to employ batons to get the man to drop the needle out of his hands when he emerged from the car. He was arrested by police.