Officials asking public to not contact man on the ice - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Officials asking public to not contact man on the ice

Posted: Mar 04, 2018 2:28 PM Updated:

The man who wandered up and down the Missouri River on Saturday is back on the ice and building what appears to be an igloo.

According to Great Falls Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Bob Shupe, the man whose first name is Ben was living on Bay Drive near the "barrel" building in a tent.

Shupe said the tent had burned and they believe that may have set the man off.

The man spent the night on the ice near the Central Avenue bridge and walked to the old 9th Street Bridge, climbed on top of the bridge, and then walked away from the river.

The first responders believed the situation was over and left but as of 10:30 a.m., the man was back on the river and walking near the refinery.

Around 2 p.m., the man had returned to the Central Avenue bridge and was building what appeared to be an igloo. 

Many bystanders were calling out to him offering help but the man refused and said he wanted to be left alone.

According to Shupe, because the man is not doing anything illegal, first responders are just standing by and observing him.

Shupe added that yesterday when they made contact with him, he threatened to jump into the water if they came any closer.

Shupe continued that because the man said he is not suicidal and has not threatened anyone, emergency crews cannot do anything at this time.

GFFR is asking that the public not stop and talk to the man or take pictures because the man has made it clear he wants to be alone.

Shupe is also asking that the public not report the man on the ice because the calls are tying up emergency response. 

We will continue to update you with any new information.

RELATED: Man on the ice raises public safety concerns

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