DODGE CITY, Kan. - An Arkansas man got a frightening look at frontier justice when he passed out with a display noose around his head during a trip to a Wild West-themed Kansas museum, officials said.
Police in Dodge City, Kan., have declined to release the name of the 69-year-old visitor from Parks, Ark. They said he lost consciousness Wednesday and slumped in the "Hanging Tree" noose display at the Boot Hill Museum.
Museum director Lara Brehm said museum staff and two women he was with helped remove the man from the noose, and that he regained consciousness before being taken to a hospital.
The noose usually hangs 15 feet in the air, and the museum doesn't know how it came to be hanging low enough for a visitor to reach it, Brehm said. It was hanging in its proper place when the museum closed the night before the incident, she said.
"From what we understand he was using it as a photo opportunity," Brehm said. "We don't know for sure how it came to be where anybody could reach it."
Brehm said it was unclear why the man passed out, and that his feet remained on the ground.
"It was not a hanging in the sense that we use that word," she said.
Brehm said the man remained in stable condition Thursday at a Wichita hospital. She said he had pre-existing conditions that warranted the move to Wichita.
The noose had been hanging where it was since the museum opened 63 years ago without incident, Brehm said. It has been taken down, and officials had not decided another would be put back up.
"We'll make the appropriate decision when we figure out what happened," she said.