A foreign man was spared death by hanging from a pedestrian bridge over the island’s busiest road in central Phuket this morning (Feb 14) after the rope broke, sending him plunging about six metres onto Thepkrasattri Rd below.
Concerned onlookers called police at about 1am after noticing the man, a Westerner aged about 40 years old, with the rope on the pedestrian bridge near the Makro store in Thalang.
Just as patrol police arrived, the man jumped off the bridge, Lt Sunan Petchnoo of Thalang Police told The Phuket News. (See story here.)
The man, a German national, has since been named as 59-year-old Dr Thomas Stolzenburg from Hamburg. He is still receiving treatment in Vachira Phuket Hospital for injuries sustained from the jump.
An unnamed officer from the Phuket Tourist Police told The Phuket News this afternoon that during their investigation a woman, Miss Suwaphat Santhat, 39, came forward and told them she was a neighbour of Dr Stolzenburg.
“The woman told us that Dr Stolzenburg previously lived with his Thai wife at Kata Villa in Rawai, which was close to her house. However, the couple recently separated and his wife returned to her home in Khon Kaen which caused the man some stress. The man remained at the house alone,” the officer said.
“Having investigated further we discovered that Dr Stolzenburg was arrested by immigration police on February 8 for overstaying his visa and he was charged for this offence.
“We have been told that this caused Dr Stolzenburg even more stress as he believed that he would be blacklisted and would not be able to return to the kingdom. We believe this is the reason he attempted to take his life,” the officer added.
Police are still waiting to question Dr Stolzenburg about the incident.