A SUICIDE bid by a British national living in Powai was averted last week after a flurry of phone calls and tactful handling of the situation by the police.
Sam Collard (61), works for an American company at its office in Andheri East, and lives alone in a 33rd-floor apartment at Torano Building in Hiranandani Gardens, Powai. The police said that Collard had suffered a stroke six months ago and was being treated by a neurologist at the Hiranandani Hospital.
“Collard had been depressed ever since the stroke. Early June 27, he called a friend in America and told him that he would jump off the 21st-floor of the building,” said an officer at Powai police.
The friend immediately alerted Collard’s wife, who lives in Sydney. She, in turn, made a distress call to the British High Commission in Mumbai. Within 10 minutes of an SOS being sent to the Police Control Room by the high commission, a team of police officers reached Collard’s home.
Milind Khetle, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Saki Naka Division), said that the door was locked from inside and Collard did not respond even after several minutes of knocking. “After eventually opening the door, he was initially very violent. But our officers spoke to him politely for an hour and a half and persuaded him to accompany them to the hospital,” said Khetle.
Collard, the police said, refused to sit in an ambulance and agreed to go to Hiranandani Hospital in a police vehicle. On Thursday, officials from the British High Commission visited Powai police station to thank the team for assisting Collard.