Dutch police respond to man’s suicide announcement on Twitter

June 5th, 2010 - 9:40 pm ICT by BNO News  

ZIERIKZEE, NETHERLANDS (BNO NEWS) — Messages from a Dutch man on the social networking website Twitter saying he was about to kill himself prompted police officers to respond to his home on Saturday afternoon, police said.

It began around 1 p.m. local time when a 37-year-old father from Zierikzee, a small city in the southwestern part of the Netherlands, sent out a tweet to his 260 followers. “I just stood on the roof of my home to jump from it,” the man - who BNO News chose not to identify - tweeted. “But I couldn’t [explicit] do it.”

Based on his tweets on Saturday and in recent weeks, the man had been depressed over the fact that his wife left him two years ago. He also appeared to have lost his home and custody over his two young daughters. “We did it. The bedrooms of the children are empty,” he wrote on Wednesday. “It feels like treason towards them. I’m exhausted now.”

His followers quickly replied to his messages on Saturday, in which he said he was tired of having ’so much sadness.’

“Who has the phone number of [username] and is able to call him immediately,” one of the man’s followers asked. The calls for help on Twitter were quickly repeated by dozens of other Twitter users, some who contacted police.

The suicidal man ended his row of tweets with a message saying he would no longer be available via phone. “I’m not going to call back anyone,” he wrote. He then wrote a last message saying “hasta la vista.”

A police spokeswoman said officers responded to his home and said everything was fine.

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