PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN — A crying man climbed up a utility pole early Thursday morning due to what he described to be poverty woes, having to be coaxed down by local police.
At about 3am, police received calls that Athit Baanyuu, 31, had climbed up an electricity pole in front of Tamonglai Resort and was wailing for local residents to hear about how his wage of 300 baht a day was not enough for him to send back to his mother.
“Now, he’s sleeping at the precinct. He’s still not making sense and is in a very confused state so we can’t question him yet,” Senior Sgt. Maj. Suechart Noimuang of Muang Prachuap Khiri Khan police said, when asked of Athit’s motive. “The insurance company came, as did people from a local psychiatric hospital.”
Police Lt. Col. Yotsawarit Tongsongsoam, local electricity officials, air force officers and disaster prevention officials went to the scene with an electric lift to try to coax Athit down from the 12-meter structure. Officials cut the power to the high-voltage utility pole for Athit’s safety, causing the power to go out in several neighborhoods in the area.
Officials set up an emergency inflatable pad under Athit and a bucket truck with a rescue official in it to bring him down.
Athit told the officer who rode up to him that he had climbed up so he could call his mother. Athit, a native of Ubon Ratchathani, said he had gone to Prachuap Khiri Khan to find a job but that his daily salary of 300 baht was too little to send any back to her. He said he would have to find work on a fishing boat, so his mother wouldn’t have to work in the fields.
After three hours of unsuccessful coaxing, officials decided to call to Athit’s relatives by phone to try and convince him. Affected by thirst and fatigue Athit agreed to come down with the officer in the cherry picker as officials below clapped and cheered.