An Australian man stood shouting and screaming on the edge of a narrow ledge on the second floor of Bali’s international airport on Tuesday (18/07), causing chaos in the busy departures area.
After about 90 minutes the man was wrestled over the barrier by an Austrian man who had tried to negotiate with him, himself climbing over the barrier in a bid to talk him down, news.com.au reported.
Amid shouting and cheering he was then pounced upon by airport security and police who had stood by nervously during the dramatic stand-off close to the Coffee Club cafe.
It is not clear what the man was demanding or his problems but authorities said later they found antidepressant medications on him and he was taken to Sanglah hospital for medical and psychiatric tests.
The man, identified as 46-year-old Gregory Butler. As he was escorted from the airport last night, Butler told reporters he never intended to jump from the ledge.
“I didn’t want to jump, I was standing on the edge. Would you jump?” Butler said to media regarding the drop to the floor.
“I wanted to bring attention to certain situation regarding Government officials, that’s why I thought I could do it,” he said.
He suggested his actions were a bid to highlight corrupt Government officials, at one stage suggesting he was speaking of Australian officials.
An Austrian national, Erol Buyuk negotiated with Butler and at one stage it appeared the Aussie tried to punch him.
“I said to him, all the people here have problems. I have more problems than you,” a shaken Buyuk recalled telling the man. Hewas at the airport to catch a flight to Singapore then Germany.
“My wife is here, we had our honeymoon here, look at wife she is crying. I have problems but I am happy, we are happy and it is not correct what you do here,” Buyuk said he told Butler in a bid to calm him down.
At that stage police intervene and forcibly pull Australian man over the barrier and tackle him to the ground. Airport passengers can be heard cheering and clapping as Buttler, who is bleeding from the head, is taken away to security offices.
Arie Ahsanurrohin, the communications and legal head of state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I, said that Butler allegedly had psychological problems and anti-depressant medicine was found in his bag.
He had also caused a cancellation of an Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur on Monday. “He was one of the passengers on Air Asia flight AK 379. When the flight was going to take off, he suddenly knocked on the cockpit door, saying that someone wanted to kill him. For safety reasons, the pilot decided to return to the apron,” Arie said, The Jakarta Post reported.
All passengers stayed the night in Kuta, before flying to Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday morning. Butler was left at the airport for investigation. “After the investigation had concluded, he suddenly threatened [to commit suicide],” Arie said.