A man who scattered money from a high-rise building while “in a haze” and high on meth was arrested by Chinese police.
Officers were called to a neighborhood in Chongqing’s Shapingba district in southwestern China after onlookers gathered along Tianli Street to watch the residents “rain money from the sky,” local media reported.
The Shapingba Public Security Office gave the man’s last name, 29, as Bo. He is charged with drug abuse.
Cell phone videos taken by passers-by and a neighbor of the man showed countless 100-renminbi bills ($14.80) falling slowly to the ground from Bo’s apartment on October 30 during the October 17 incident.
On the footage, Bo appears to be leaning out of his balcony window before throwing away bundles of money, some of which were collected by witnesses downstairs.
Local media reported that the stunt “brought traffic to a standstill” as pedestrians and motorists alike rushed to catch the falling red banknotes with Mao Zedong’s face.
In the official statement from the district police, the strictly controlled Twitter-like microblogging service of Weibo-China was switched on – the statement said: “At about 1:30 pm on October 17, 29-year-old Bo from Shapingba district used methamphetamine in his house and threw money on the floor in the haze from his balcony.
“After receiving reports, Shapingba County police arrived on the scene. Bo is currently in police custody for drug abuse. The incident is under further investigation.”
The authorities did not disclose how much money Bo threw off his balcony, although media reports put the amount at about 200,000 renminbi.
It is expected that the public will return the money, but so far no official request has been announced by the police.
In September last year, a 42-year-old man from Shishi in Fujian province scattered more than 100,000 renminbi on a busy street after a “bad day’s work”, according to the local police at the time.
After the similar traffic-jamming incident, the authorities made a plea on his behalf after he “regretted” his act, with a police statement calling on the public to be “reasonable”.
It was unclear how much of his money was eventually recovered.