Denpasar, Bali – Panic broke out at the Galleria Mall in Bali on Tuesday when an Australian tourist, believed to be suffering from depression, reportedly took a restaurant waitress hostage for a full hour.
Police in Bali identified the man as 27-year-old Simon Monthey.
He was tranquilized by police and taken to the Prima Medika hospital in Denpasar for treatment.
The waitress, who works for MM Juice, has been identified as Ni Kadek Widiani.
Police said she remained in shock following the incident.
According to witness Deni Sunardi, a waiter at another restaurant at the Galleria Mall, the hostage incident occurred shortly after the juice stall opened for business at 9:30 a.m.
Widiani had been attending the stall, cutting tissue paper with scissors.
“The man approached her as if to order some food, but suddenly grabbed the scissors to hold [Widiani] hostage, and took her to a corner. He then demanded that he be sent home to Australia immediately. Visitors and workers at the mall panicked and the incident invited the attention of mall security and police,” Deni said.
According to the mall’s tenant manager, Maduma Prama, officers tried to negotiate with Monthey by assuring him that the Australian Consulate had been informed of his request.
Kuta Police subprecinct Chief Adj. Comr. Gede Ganefo said police managed to get the scissors out of Monthey’s hands.
However, he added, Monthey violently resisted police and had to be injected with a tranquilizing shot before being removed from the premises and taken to hospital in a police van.
“We believe he could have been under the effects of [psychotropic] mushrooms. We also believe he was depressed.
“A day earlier he had been caught threatening to go naked on the beach. Locals secured him but then released him a while later. He was not injured in any way,” Gede added.