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3 men arrested after early morning cave rescue

Three men were arrested Sunday morning after one of the trio had to be rescued out of a cave near Laconia where they had allegedly been camping for a couple of days.
Garrett Jones, 21, of Georgetown was rescued by the Indiana Conservation Officers Cave Rescue Team, who was assisted by several agencies, according to Conservation Officer Jim Hash.
Hash said Jones had apparently fallen about 15 feet from a ledge inside Small Mouth Cave off Tobacco Landing Road at about 12:30 a.m.
Jones’ two companions, Bruce McDougal, 27, and James McDougal, 21, both of Louisville, went to summon help. They contacted the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. about 4:30 a.m.
About two hours later, the team of rescuers were prepared to enter the cave.
Jones was found in the cave about a quarter of a mile from the opening, Hash said. He complained of pain to his ankle but refused medical treatment at the scene. It was about 11:15 a.m. when Jones was removed from the cave.
‘The men did not have permission to be there,’ Hash said.
Hash said the three men were taken to the Harrison County Jail, where they were incarcerated on initial charges of criminal trespass.
Additional charges are expected to be filed, Hash said, including charges of cave trespass, removal of cave formations and vandalism to a cave. Other charges are possibly pending the investigation.
Other agencies assisting besides the sheriff’s department were the Boone Township, Harrison Township and Ramsey Volunteer Fire departments, Harrison County Emergency Management Agency and Harrison County Hospital EMS.

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