UPDATED with information from the Newport Beach Fire Department.
A man has been hospitalized following an incident at Inspiration Point on Thursday night, police said today.
The incident occurred at 7:40 p.m. on Ocean Boulevard near Orchid Avenue when an apparently distraught man was standing on the edge of the cliff above Big Corona State Beach, police said.
Ten minutes earlier, a concerned citizen asked a lifeguard at Big Corona State Beach to check on a man who seemed distraught and was standing on the cliff outside the railing on Inspiration Point, said Jennifer Schulz, a Newport Beach Fire Department spokeswoman, in an email.
“A Newport Beach lifeguard made contact with the individual and continually talked to the distraught man for approximately 20 minutes,” Schulz said in her email. “Once on scene, the police coordinated a plan
to pull the man safely from his precarious location.”
Police found the man on the edge of the cliff, said Sgt. Joe Cartwright of the Newport Beach Police Department. “Officers successfully contacted and detained the subject, who was later transported for mental evaluation,” he said.
The man initially was arrested on suspicion of trespassing for climbing past the railing, Cartwright said. Later he was released on his own recognizance into the care of a medical team, he said. Newport Beach paramedics checked the man as well, and he was not injured in the incident, Schulz said.
Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol responded with boats, and a police helicopter and lifeguards also responded. The sheriff’s online blotter indicates that the man was pushed to safety within 20 minutes of officers arriving at the scene.
A witness said the man appeared to be in his 20s or 30s and had taken off his jacket and tied it over his face. The witness said that police parked cars on pedestrian pathways and used tape to block the park area along Ocean Boulevard for about a block.