Bali stand-off: Australian man creates chaos at airport
AN AUSTRALIAN man stood shouting and screaming on the edge of a narrow ledge on the second floor of Bali's international airport last night, 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.
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, whose passport indicates he was born in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria,
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 of the 25 metre drop.
He suggested his actions were a bid to highlight corrupt Government officials, at one stage suggesting he was speaking of Australian officials.
"I wanted to bring attention to certain situation regarding Government officials, that's why I thought I could do it," Butler told the media.
He also mentioned the Australian Consulate in Bali in his garbled talk as he was lead away.
Butler was given sedatives before being taken away from the airport on a medical vehicle, wheeled at full speed and then placed in an ambulance to be taken to hospital for further treatment.
Austrian man Erol Buyuk intervened in a bid to coax Butler down from the ledge, himself climbing onto the ledge in a bid to talk to him.
"I said to him, all the people here have problems. I have more problems than you," a shaken Mr Buyuk recalled telling the man.
"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," Mr Buyuk said he told Butler in a bid to calm him down.
Mr Buyuk was at the airport to catch a flight to Singapore then Germany.
Ngurah Rai airport communications and legal chief, Arie Ahsanurrohin, said that Butler had originally been on an Air Asia flight from Denpasar to Kuala Lumpur on Monday night at 9pm.
When the flight was taxiing Butler is alleged to have knocked on the cockpit door, saying someone wanted to kill him.
"For safety reasons the pilot decided to return to the apron and the flight was cancelled," Mr Ahsanurrohin said.
Butler was kept for the night at the airport authority office for investigation, when authorities found antidepressant medicines and it was alleged that Butler was stressed.
Mr Ahsanurrohin said it was not known how Butler climbed over the barrier and onto the ledge but shouting had erupted.
"I got a report that he was there from 4.45pm and was saved at 6.18pm," he said.
If you are having any mental health issues please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency call 000