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GBI investigating male's fall from student high-rise while fleeing from ACCPD officer

The Mark at Athens

By Joe Johnson

Authorities are investigating the circumstances of a male falling six stories to the ground last week at a high-rise luxury student housing facility located on the fringe of downtown Athens.

According to Athens-Clarke County police Lt. Shaun Barnett, officers responded at about 12:17 a.m. Friday to investigate a fire alarm activation at The Mark at Athens, 130 Hickory St.

A uniformed ACCPD officer, who serves as a courtesy officer for the complex, was at street level awaiting the arrival of Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services Department personnel, he said.

“During the incident, the officer was approached multiple times by an intoxicated male, both outside and inside the apartment complex,” Barnett said. “During an encounter on the sixth floor, the officer attempted to detain the male for investigatory purposes. The male resisted the officer and fled down a hallway.”

Barnett, who is ACCPD’s public information officer, said that the officer did not pursue the male, “but maintained visual contact with him” while requesting additional units to respond.

“The male approached a hallway railing and disappeared from the officer’s view,” Barnett said. “The subject was located at street level and EMS arrived. He was transported to a local hospital where he is in serious condition.”

Police have not released the male’s name, age, where he lived, or if he attended UGA. Many university students live at The Mark, which markets itself specifically to UGA students.

The Mark issued a statement in which they said the person who fell was a non-resident.

"The Mark at Athens management team are cooperating fully by providing surveillance footage" to investigators, the statement said.

The police department requested that the incident be Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Barnett said the GBI’s involvement was sought “because an ACCPD officer had an interaction just prior to the incident.”

He referred all other questions to the GBI.

“There is nothing more to add to ACCPD’s statement,” said Natalie Ammons, deputy director of the GBI’s Office of Public and Governmental Affairs.

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