Man who plunged from building on South Allen Street identified

mcarroll@centredaily.comMay 29, 2014 

— Police have identified the 33-year-old man who plunged to his death Thursday afternoon from a seventh-floor balcony on South Allen Street.

Beau Rodgers Griffis died in the fall, State College police said in a brief statement Friday morning.

Police released no other new details in the statement, and said an investigation continues.

Griffis lived in a seventh-floor unit in the building at 310 S. Allen St.

On Thursday, State College police chief Tom King said investigators are working to determine whether the man fell or intentionally jumped at about 2:50 p.m. from the top story of the building.

Investigators do not suspect foul play, King said Thursday.

Witnesses reported hearing shouting from the building before the fall, but King would not confirm that in a brief news conference at the nearby State College Municipal Building on Thursday.

A woman was in the apartment at the time, and she was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for apparent emotional distress, King said.

He said investigators have spoken with the woman and other witnesses and will continue to do so. He encouraged anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact police.

The cause of death, according to autopsy results released Friday by Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers, was head trauma. King said Thursday that investigators also would seek toxicology tests.

The death is the latest in a series of fatal falls from buildings in or around downtown State College, mostly involving Penn State students. Police responded to three last year.

In December, a Penn State student died after jumping from the Fraser Street parking garage, and two months before that, a university student was killed when he fell from a balcony of Penn Tower onto East Beaver Avenue. Police said that a synthetic drug, an LSD-like substance, was a factor in that incident.

A former Penn State student died in April 2013 when he lunged headfirst through an open window on the sixth floor of the University Gateway apartment building and landed on East College Avenue.

In October 2012, a Penn State cheerleader fell nearly 40 feet from a window in Calder Commons apartments and suffered serious head and hip injuries, but recovered. Several university students were charged with alcohol violations stemming from a party at the apartment.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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