Man Accused of Shoving Dad Off Cliff, Laughing as He Fell

Gerald McCants reportedly lured his elderly father to cliff's edge with talk of a rattlesnake
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2020 8:16 AM CDT

A Texas man is accused of luring his elderly father to the edge of a cliff, then shoving him off, laughing as the man fell. Per an arrest affidavit, the 78-year-old father of Gerald McCants, 49, told Austin cops his son returned to the home they share around 8:30am Sunday, "excited" by a rattlesnake he'd found, FOX 7 Austin reports. The affidavit notes the men got into a car and drove about a half-mile, and that McCants then cajoled his father to the cliff's edge, which was several yards off the roadside. The elderly man told authorities that as he approached the edge looking for the snake, his son pushed him on his side, sending him over the edge. The younger man could allegedly be heard laughing as his father fell about 40 feet through thick vegetation.

Austin-Travis County EMS estimates the plunge was more like 50 feet. It's not clear who called authorities. Although medics on the scene initially reported McCants' father suffered only minor injuries—including deep cuts to his forehead and back of his head, as well as multiple cuts and scrapes all over his body—an update later suggested his injuries were more serious, and he was taken to a local medical center under a "trauma alert," KXAN reports. McCants, who was arrested and charged with third-degree felony injury to an elderly person, was booked into the Travis County Jail, with his bond set at $20,000, per KVUE. (More Texas stories.)

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