Attempted Sky Tower jumper back in care

01:36, Jan 09 2013
Sky Tower
AERIAL DRAMA: The man who threatened to jump off the Sky Tower on the edge of the bungy platform 54 floors up.

A man who threatened to jump from the Sky Tower in Auckland is safely back in the care of Waikato mental health services.

Waikato District Health Board is investigating how the man came to leave its Mental Health and Addiction Services, where he is an inpatient, yesterday.

He is back in the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre on the Waikato Hospital campus, communications director Mary-Anne Gill said.

The 108-bed facility provides minimum to medium secure rehabilitation for the Waikato DHB and Midland region.

The man's attempts to throw himself off the bungy platform on the tower's 54th level without a harness sparked a dramatic emergency services call-out yesterday afternoon.

A section on both Federal St and Victoria St was cordoned off from 3.10pm until the man was finally escorted off the platform by a harnessed police negotiation squad around 8pm.

A large crowd of onlookers watched in horror as the man walked to the edge of the platform 192 metres above the ground and sat down, dangling his legs over the edge.

Eye-witnesses said he was dressed in an orange suit and appeared distressed on the tower's SkyWalk attraction after buying a ticket.

"He didn't harness up. He just stepped out and made it quite obvious he was contemplating taking his life," police Northern Communications inspector Willie Taylor told Fairfax Media yesterday.

Bus services in the area were cancelled and the Sky Tower and two internal restaurants were closed during the incident, disrupting Saturday evening plans for thousands of people.

The SkyWalk and SkyJump attractions remain closed today, SkyCity staff said. The SkyJump will reopen at 10am tomorrow but the SkyWalk is closed until further notice.

The observation deck is open today.

It's unknown if any criminal charges will be laid.

* An earlier version of this story said the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre was the scene of 190 assaults in the past financial year. This was incorrect.


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