Lake Pleasant: Diver goes missing, suicidal man with rifle shuts down park this weekend

By TARA ALATORRE

PEORIA – A man threatening suicide while wielding a rifle in the desert area near the entrance of the Lake Pleasant Regional Park caused officials to close the main north park entrances around noon on May 5, according to Peoria Police Department.

From noon to 6 p.m. Maricopa County Park officials say park entrance to Lake Pleasant  remained closed along with nearby roadways in both directions in cooperation with local law enforcement trying to locate the distressed man.

“This male had a rifle and out of a concern for the safety of the public traffic was closed in both directions in and out of the lake,” Peoria Police Officer Brandon Sheffert stated in an email to The Foothills Focus. “We utilized negation and our SWAT team to detain the subject and transport him to the hospital for treatment.”

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Glendale Police Department assisted Peoria Police with various aspects of the incident.

“We appreciate the public’s understanding and patience as we dealt with this potentially violent encounter,” Sheffert said.

Law enforcement officials are also trying to recover the body of a missing diver that never resurfaced at Lake Pleasant this weekend. The missing adult man was diving with two other people on the afternoon of Saturday, May 4, when he never resurfaced, according to local news outlets.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Lake Patrol had divers in the water on May 6, and were assisted by Commercial Divers International out of Goodyear, Ariz., according MCSO Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez’s Twitter.

At the time this was written the body had not been recovered and the victim’s name was not yet released.