Questions raised over cameraman's role in Facebook Live suicide bid
The fate of an 18-year-old girl filmed jumping from a Bangkok bridge early on Tuesday morning in an apparent suicide attempt after a reported break-up with her boyfriend remained unknown on Wednesday.
And the motorcycle taxi driver who filmed her has not been charged with any offence pending further police investigations.
Pataradanai Noomsrinart claimed he didn't know the girl's suicidal intentions prior to the jump and thought she had simply hired him to give her a lift to the bridge. When she asked him to stay and shoot a Facebook Live post, he thought it just to "record the atmosphere", said Boworn Mongkol Police Station superintendent Pol Colonel Wiradol Tabtimdee on Wednesday.
Pataradanai said he was the one to call the police and urge others at the scene to help after seeing the girl jump off the bridge.
The Facebook Live broadcast at 2am on Tuesday showed the apparently-drunk teenager singing along with a song about a break-up. She then climbed to sit on the bridge rail while drinking, then stepped over the rail and jumped into the Chao Phraya River.
The post has drawn criticism from social-media users asking why the man holding the camera didn't try to stop the girl from jumping.
Among those critics was Kosolwat Indaruchanyong, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, who warned that anyone filming a suicide attempt could face a criminal charge.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Kosolwat said: "Seeing the girl climb onto the bridge rail, listening to a heart-break song, you should have stopped her or pulled her back from getting across the rail. It's a legal duty for a person to stop another's action deemed dangerous to their life, but you just stood there shooting the clip. This can be a criminal offence punishable with a jail term for the person holding the camera or those just standing by without stopping a suicide attempt."
Kosolwat was referring to the Criminal Code's Section 374, which provides for one month's jail and/or a fine of up to Bt10,000 for such an offence.
The girl's body has not been found, and many are holding out hope that she has survived.
- Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-2214444
- Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-2837019
- Sage Counselling Centre: 1800-5555555
- Care Corner Mandarin Counselling: 1800-3535800