Rock climber accused of using claw hammer to kill friend in Mary - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Rock climber accused of using claw hammer to kill friend in Maryland park

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David DiPaolo David DiPaolo

At first, it looked like a climbing accident. But the medical examiner noted the lack of extensive wounding consistent with a fall. And witnesses told police the victim had been in a "verbal confrontation" just an hour earlier.

Now, a man has been arrested for using a claw hammer on the head of a fellow rock climber.

First responders were called to the Carderock, Md., rock climbing area on December 28 for what, at first, looked like a climbing accident. An older man with "massive head trauma" was discovered laying across a wooden beam at the base of the 35-foot tall rock face.

The victim, Geoffrey Farrar, who lived in North Arlington, was an experienced climber. But according to a police document, the medical examiner found that Farrar suffered only injuries on his skull and hands and "no other wounds consistent with a fall were discovered."

Further, a witness told U.S. Park Police an hour before the discovery of the victim that Farrar had been in a verbal altercation in the parking lot nearest to the climbing area. The witness said the man arguing with Farrar was 31-year-old David DiPaolo.

Two witnesses told police they saw DiPaolo running up the trail, and seconds later, the victim was found.

The 69-year-old man was a well-known rock climber. On a funeral home Guestbook page, Geoffrey Farrar was remembered as a "mentor" to other climbers, and remembered as a "cool" person who made Carderock a "welcoming place" for newcomers to the sport.

But in Geoffrey Farrar's North Arlington neighborhood, residents described the victim as a "difficult" man.

Liz Medaglia, a neighbor, said, "If I saw him in the middle of the street, you know, he had an opinion on a lot of things. And he would express the opinion, kind of, repeatedly."

Henrietta Kundert, who lived next door to Farrar, agreed, and told us during an interview: "Well, he had lots of opinions, that he did.”

We asked what his opinions were on, she responded, “Everything.”

“Just the right way to do things. I mean, you name it, he had an opinion,” Kundert continued.

DiPaolo was detained at a police stop in upstate New York. According to the police document, he has told detectives that the 69-year-old Farrar began choking him on the trail and the two fell to the ground. The younger man said he then "found" a claw hammer, struck the victim in the head, then left.

DiPaolo has been charged with manslaughter. He is in the custody of U.S. marshals.

A spokeswoman in the U.S. Attorney's office in Baltimore said DiPaolo did not object to being transported back to Maryland to face the manslaughter charge.

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