Man who 'lost plot' saved on Sky Tower

By Isaac Davison

Skywalk staff talk to the man (centre, in orange) who was threatening to jump off the Sky Tower. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Skywalk staff talk to the man (centre, in orange) who was threatening to jump off the Sky Tower. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A four-hour negotiation took place 200m above Victoria St after a man threatened to jump from the Sky Tower's walkway.

The 40-year-old Middle Eastern man was in a four-person group being guided by instructors around the tower on the 1.2m-wide walkway yesterday morning.

Police said the man had immigration problems, and refused to leave the walkway after paying for a guided tour, in which people are harnessed to a safety line on the tower.

Inspector Danny Meade said members of the police negotiation team worked for at least four hours to bring the man down.

"You don't want to rush these things, as the consequences could be dire."

Mr Meade said the man had mental health problems.

He was taken to Auckland City Hospital after being talked into leaving the walkway.

Another man on the skywalk, Tony Johnston, said the man had appeared confident at first, but after 10 minutes became agitated and broke away from the group.

He then tried to undo his safety harnesses.

"He was freaking out, losing the plot," Mr Johnston said.

"He tried to undo the carabiner on the front of him, but luckily he had a carabiner on the back too which he couldn't undo."

The guided tour was stopped and the building's observation deck was cleared.

Police blocked off streets around the Sky Tower, and a group of 100 onlookers gathered around the tower's base.

The man did not sustain any injuries during the incident.

- NZ Herald

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