The Story of the Window JumperThere is now a second account of the accident from a reader here
The venue on Brick Lane, London.
Photo taken a year or so after the party before the building was renovated.
Be warned this is the event that was the most truamatic incident I've been involved with to date and is the reason I feel so strongly about the need for a harm reduction approach to replace the present "war on drugs".
This all happened at the rave in Aldgate East, a huge squat with lots of sound systems spread throughout the office block.
The emergency in a rave in London 4th April 1999
cad3177 of 4th April
follows is my recollection of the events which I wrote down as soon as I got home.
I added bits later as I remebered them, but what follows is the final version
as of a few weeks later.
The rave took place in a derelict 6 story office block and the incident happened on the top floor. It was daylight and the large "glass wall" windows let the light flood in to show a somewhat trashed open plan office room full of trashed people. There was intense techno echoing around this vast room and there were maybe a couple of hundred people dancing and perhaps another hundred or so sitting around the edge of the room.
I took a break and sat down for a chill with a friend, as we were talking someone, totally off his nut, runs over to me, slaps me (gently) on the head and runs away. I didn't think too much of it, but a bit later he does it again to someone else. I'm watching him as he is clearly going over the top, rolling around on the floor and then running around the room.
Suddenly, he runs toward me again, but slightly to my left, and smashes into one of the large glass windows which shatters. He seems OK though and goes back to his insane running around.
A group of us are concerned about him and we talk about what to do. However, before we can come to a conclusion, he comes running from the crowd again. I see him and I can tell from his eyes, this is it. I try and grab him but fail, then run with all my speed behind him shouting "stop him, stop him", but he reaches the window and dives head first at it.
Glass smashes as he goes out the window with a sound I will never forget, but someone catches his feet at the last minute and pulls him back in, we're 6 floors up remember. He gets up and runs again, but this time there is a lot of blood. I catch him and I see the horrific injury to his stomach, a huge deep cut from the broken glass, indeed I see internal organs exposed. I had wondered what would happen in a place like this if there was an emergency, now I was going to find out. A dim and distant first aid lesson comes to mind - "stop the bleeding".
He is wild, and tries to run again so I grab him and begin to wrestle him to the ground, within seconds I have help, as we are struggling, a woman stares at me with a "what can I do?" expression, I shout "get a shirt or something to stop the bleeding"
Within a very short
space of time we have a team of about six people applying first aid. The
woman had returned with some kind of shirt and she knew more about applying the
pressure pad than I did, someone else checked carefully for glass fragments, someone
dials 999 on a mobile. we get the situation under control and I hear a voice saying
"The ambulance is
We get the music stopped and suddenly its very quiet, the local police arrive very quickly, I believe they are met at the door and escorted to the scene.
They are given every possible help and assistance and gradually take control, everyone talks in low voices, we do as we are told. Someone cradles his head and talks in a low voice, giving encouragement. Paramedics arrive in minutes followed by the ambulance crew, and we surrender the situation to them. After extensive emergency preparation, he is taken out on a stretcher.
Nobody was asked to do any particular job as a part of the team, simply people saw something needed doing and got on and did it.
The guy was out of there very quickly and off to hospital, I doubt he would have had faster attention in a legal place. Police re-enforcement's turned up but stayed outside. I was left there, covered in blood and very shaken but with a strange feeling of having just saved someone's' life. I've never done that before.
The police, it has to be said, were also wonderful, they were calm and polite and accepted help until they were able to take full control.
The person concerned has made full recovery, although is perhaps somewhat shaken by the experience, we are still in contact via e-mail.
This was caused by LSD, he had taken way too much.
One thought added nearly 10 years later when I moved the page from it's ortiginal home on my now gone first website.
I think the only thing I really did that was right was to get the situation under control. Had i not done that he would have run around for a short time and died, simple as that.