By Mandy Thompson
A Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara resident was yesterday hospitalised after he leapt from the balcony of the Ocean Spray Hotel, in Georgetown, where he was a guest, in an apparent attempt to commit suicide.
Ralph De Castro, 46, of 3rd Street Mon Repos, sustained severe head injuries and is said to be in a conscious state in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
A senior police official yesterday told this newspaper that based on the information he received, the police were called to the hotel and arrived on the scene before the man jumped, but were unable to persuade him to come down from the balcony.
The official said the police were awaiting members of the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), who were also called to the scene, when the man suddenly jumped. Stabroek News was told that members of the GFS rushed the conscious but injured man to the public hospital.
A neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, recalled that he saw the man leaving his home on Thursday, but did not know where he was going. ccording to him, he later learnt that De Castro had booked a room at the hotel and stayed there for the night.
Recalling what transpired, the neighbour told Stabroek News that he was driving in the vicinity of the Ocean Spray Hotel yesterday morning when he saw a man on the top of the three-storey hotel balcony.
He related that he thought De Castro was at the hotel with relatives who are visiting from overseas, but became suspicious when he realised there was a crowd at the hotel and De Castro was on the balcony standing. He said he then turned back in his vehicle to inquire what the man was up to, but as he ventured nearer to the hotel, De Castro jumped.
He said he did not know what the man’s condition was when he fell, but he learnt from persons who were on the scene that De Castro landed on his back and there was a loud impact when he hit the ground.
De Castro, who was deported from Canada two years ago, is said to be living alone and has no relatives in Guyana. His neighbours said they could not offer any plausible explanation as to why he would attempt to end his life, since his relatives, who are overseas, still support him. They posited however, that the stress of being away from his family may have taken a toll on him.
De Castro’s neighbours noted too that since his birthday last month, he had been consuming alcohol frequently. They said De Castro, to their knowledge, was not under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred. They added that they did not know if he had any problem with anyone, but from what they knew of him, he is a nice person.
Once De Castro recovers from his injuries, he would be charged, since, According to the police official, since a suicide attempt is a crime under the laws of Guyana.
Stabroek News was unable to secure a comment from the management of the hotel regarding the incident. The man’s relatives are expected in the country soon, his neighbours noted.