Spectators' Taunts Drive Man to Jump Nine Stories

January 17, 2007 Updated: January 17, 2007

On January 9, 2007, Mr. Han, a 36-year-old man from China's Hainan Province, hung outside of a ninth floor hospital window threatening suicide. The scene drew a large crowd. Instead of dissuading the victim, however, the group taunted and laughed at Han, even encouraging him to jump. Fueled by the mocking onlookers, Han leapt to his death.

According to Hainan Daily, after Han jumped out the ninth floor window of the People's Hospital of Hainan Province, his body hit the roof of the adjacent three-story building, triggering screams of horror among the onlookers.

Around 9:30 a.m., hospital staff found that Han had broken the ninth story window to climb out onto the ledge. Local police and firefighters were notified and rushed to the scene. Han hung outside the building for some time. He cautioned the rescue team that he would jump if they approached him. Han even gestured that he might cut his wrist with a piece of shattered glass if they came too close.

A nurse claims she came to the scene to dissuade Han soon after hearing of the incident. She encouraged him to call his father and elder sister from her cellphone. However, these conversations lasted for just a few seconds. By 11:18 a.m., Han positioned his body as if he was readying for a jump. Yet this gesture only encouraged more mockery from the spectators below.

Han appeared greatly irritated by the ridicule. He grabbed the window frame with his right hand, reached out his left arm and pointed his finger angrily at the crowd nine stories below. After mumbling some final words, Han jumped at 11:20 a.m. Although the hospital rushed to provide emergency treatment, Han died one hour later.

One onlooker lamented, “Maybe he did not really want to jump. It was the spectators' ridicule that infuriated him.” He added that when Han hung part of his body outside the window, spectators increased their taunts. Some even shouted, “What are you waiting for? Jump!” Some felt that it was these mocking calls that enraged Han enough to jump to his death.