Brownsville Man Seen In River This Morning Taken To Hospital, Officials Say Suspected Of Being Under Influence
Darren Doyle, story and photos
Local emergency officials responded to a 9-1-1 call this morning from two fisherman who said they saw a man clutching to a log in the middle of the Green River near the city park boat ramp.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the unnamed fishermen said the man was "acting crazy and hollering for help," but refused to help the man. Officials said they were told by the fisherman "No, we're not putting a crazy guy in the boat with us, you need to send somebody down here." Sheriff Shane Doyle said the fishermen were asked if they could keep an eye on the man until help arrived and they said, "Ok, but we're going to keep on fishing."
Sheriff Doyle said the man couldn't be located when rescue personnel arrived and there was fear that the man had drowned.
It was reported that the Sheriff, paramedics, Emergency Management, and first responders began searching the area, along with local volunteer A.B. Webb, who furnished his own boat to transport members of the Kyrock Fire Department down the river in attempt to locate the man.
Emergency radio traffic indicated that several calls were made to dispatch with reports of a shirtless man in jeans running around the Washington Street.
Sheriff Doyle eventually saw the man, Jerry Matthew Napier (28) of Brownsville sitting on the sidewalk in front of Gravil Funeral Home. After speaking with the man, Sheriff Doyle said he suspected that Napier was under the influence of a controlled substance.
Sheriff Doyle said he asked Napier how he ended up in the river and Napier replied, "I used to swim in the river in November when I was a kid and I wanted to do it again." Doyle said apparently now that he's older, he's unable to swim as effectively as he once could.
Doyle said that when he told Napier he was going to be taken to the Sheriff's Office for a drug test, Napier then requested to go to the hospital for fear of hypothermia. He was transported to the Medical Center by Edmonson EMS.
Officials said that Napier was released earlier this year from prison on parole on a charge of trafficking in controlled substance.
The Sheriff said the investigation will be turned over to Kentucky Probation and Parole once Napier is released from the hospital.