Australian diplomat dies after falling from a New York terrace, police say

An Australian diplomat fell to his death from a New York terrace after playing a high-risk trust game with a friend that went wrong, police said.


Julian Simpson, 30, fell from the seventh-floor ledge of a Lower East Side building after his friend, James Waugh, put out his hands to catch him as part of a trust game, police said.

However, the drunken diplomat lost his grip and fell, landing on a second-story landing outside the building on Clinton Street near East Houston Street.

Authorities pronounced Simpson dead at the scene.

The diplomat and others had gone to the apartment building Wednesday to look at the Empire State Building, lit up in rainbow colors to recognize the Australian referendum that showed a majority of voters support the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Simpson was an official with Australia’s United Nations mission.

“It is a tragedy. Our hearts go out to his family,” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in an interview.

“I can’t provide any more details at this stage. It’s a shocking tragedy – a young life lost.”

By Sara Shayanian