Fleeing trespasser rescued from cliff faces charges

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A young man who had to be rescued from a wooded cliff along the Susquehanna River in the Green Branch area of southern York County is facing criminal charges.

State police filed charges against Luis Robert Ramos on Monday, Aug. 7, for last month's incident in the 3300 block of Green Branch Road in Chanceford Township.

The Susquehanna River is seen looking north from Safe Harbor Dam last month. In 2011, American Rivers named the Susquehanna America's Most Endangered River.

The property, which is at the confluence of Green Branch and the river, is owned by the Red Lion Municipal Authority, according to documents. The authority has a raw-water pumping station there, according to Red Lion's website.

There are no-trespassing signs posted on the property, according to police.

Ramos, 18, of Blossom Hill Lane in York Township, has not yet been arraigned, according to court records. He will be charged with third-degree misdemeanor disorderly conduct, as well as the summary offenses of criminal trespass, public drunkenness and purchase or consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Spotted: He and John Francis Paulus were seen trespassing on the property about 7:30 p.m. July 25, and state police were called to respond, according to Trooper Brent Miller, a state police spokesman.

When a trooper arrived, he spotted Paulus, who was highly intoxicated, lying in the grass next to a paved pathway, documents state.

Ramos — who police said also was drinking — was at the bottom of the paved pathway, but ran into a "densely wooded area with difficult terrain" when he noticed the trooper, according to documents.

The trooper called out commands a number of times for Ramos to stop climbing, but Ramos paid no heed, police said.

Lengthy search: Other troopers arrived and searched the area but couldn't find Ramos, police said.

About 10:30 p.m., Ramos called 911 to say he was lost in the woods, documents state.

Troopers resumed their search and eventually found him, but they had to summon rescue personnel because the terrain was too steep for them to rescue Ramos themselves, police said.

More:Police: Fleeing trespasser rescued from cliff along river

At that point, Ramos "was complaining of back and leg pain consistent with falling down the terrain," charging documents state.

Fire/rescue crews from New Bridgeville Fire Co. and Craley's Community Fire Co. responded after being dispatched shortly after 11 p.m., according to 911 dispatch logs.

'Goat path': New Bridgeville Fire Chief Ron Witmer said Ramos was found on a trail so small it's more like a goat path.

Rescuers eventually made their way to Ramos by rappelling down steep terrain, police said.

They used a series of ropes and a rescue basket to lower him to a waiting boat, Witmer said.

The boat ferried Ramos to an area where he could be loaded into an ambulance, and he was taken to York Hospital, according to Miller.

Minor injuries: No rescuers were hurt, Witmer said. Both Ramos and Paulus suffered minor injuries, Miller said at the time.

Paulus also tried to flee when he first saw the trooper, according to Miller, but ended up falling down a steep hill.

Paulus, 18, of Glen Rock Road just north of Glen Rock, has been cited with the summary violations of criminal trespass, public drunkenness and purchase or consumption of alcohol by a minor.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.