A man who was pulled out of Mirror Lake Sunday afternoon was last reported to be in critical condition.
The man is not an Ohio State student, according to an OSU press release, but his name, age and affiliation with the university, as well as details of his condition, have not been released. The incident is being investigated by University Police.
A 911 call reporting a “person in distress in Mirror Lake” was received at approximately 5 p.m., and other bystanders approached the OSU Public Safety Mobile Command Unit that was in the area because of the Student Involvement Fair, which took place on the Oval Sunday, according to the release.
Police officers and Student Safety officers jumped into Mirror Lake to pull the man from the water, according to the release, and bystanders reported paramedics performed CPR and chest resuscitations for several minutes without any apparent reaction from the man.
University Police Lt. Rick Green said at about 5:30 p.m. the man had been taken to the Wexner Medical Center in critical condition.
Tim Struble, a 27-year-old OSU alumnus, was walking with a friend on Neil Avenue near Mirror Lake when they noticed hands flailing above the water.
“We just thought it was someone messing around,” Struble said. “We saw a head pop up momentarily and then the hands and head disappear.”
Struble and his friend headed down by the lake, where people had already called 911. Emergency Medical Services arrived less than a minute after Struble did, he said.
“Then a cop came, he was a bike cop, and he took all his stuff off and immediately jumped in the lake and we told him the last place we saw him,” Struble said. “He eventually found him after another minute, minute and a half of searching (using his feet and pulled the man to the edge) … My friend and I each grabbed a leg and shoulder and pulled him up.”
Struble said the man was not responding to CPR and that the man did not have his wallet, keys or shoes on his body at the time of the incident.
Christian Kyte, a second-year in electrical and computer engineering, said he and some of his friends walked over to the area from Thompson Library after seeing police cars going that way and witnessed officers pulling the man out.
“We were right there watching,” Kyte said. “One (officer) jumped in and dragged him to the shore (and) took off the shirt and shocked him and whatnot … There was no movement from him whatsoever. They were constantly giving him compressions.”
Kyte said after about 15 minutes of watching, he still saw “no sign that he was coming back to consciousness.”
Joshua Sharrock, a 31-year-old Columbus State Community College student, was visiting Mirror Lake when he saw a crowd gathered there and noticed the seemingly unconscious man.
“There’s like 20 paramedics, everybody is just pumping on this guy’s chest and it blew up like a balloon. They were really pumping hard,” Sharrock said. “Nobody was talking, everyone was staring. Nobody was even on their phones.”
Sharrock, who said he was 15 to 20 feet from the man at the time, said there was no apparent movement from the man.
“There were a lot of paramedics … but they carried him off, he was limp, he was lifeless. He might have been breathing, it might have been really shallow,” Sharrock said.
One female OSU graduate student was walking to the Student Involvement Fair at about 5 p.m. when she and her friends noticed there was a person in Mirror Lake.
“We were walking by and we saw a guy. We just saw his hands, and we thought someone was swimming, and my friend was actually like, we were mentioning … when everyone goes swimming for the Michigan game, and she was like, ‘Oh no one goes swimming now, it’s too warm out, except for that guy,’ and then we saw his hands before he went down,” said the student, who spoke with The Lantern on condition of anonymity because of professional reasons. “And we thought it was a joke at first, and some other girls called 911, and then they pulled him out probably like five minutes later, and I don’t know, it doesn’t look good.”
An annual tradition at OSU is the Mirror Lake Jump, when thousands of students jump in the lake on a night in November the week before the OSU football game against the University of Michigan. The university officially does not support the tradition but does take measures to help keep students safe, such as sectioning off deep areas, installing bright lights for the night and increasing police presence in the area.
Kyte thinks the incident may have an impact on the Mirror Lake Jump, including the university implementing heavier restrictions.
“I’m curious to see what the Mirror Lake Jump will be like after this,” he said.
Kristen Mitchell contributed to this story.