British tourist Richard Cole accosted on street before drowning
Several men harassed and robbed British tourist Richard Cole shortly before he drowned in an Amsterdam canal, police revealed on Friday. The police do not suspect the men of being directly involved in Cole's death, but are looking to interview them. They released photos of the men in the hope of tracking them down. Cole went missing early on January 25 after a night of drinking at an establishment on Thorbeckeplein in the city center. His brother, Lee Thornhill, believes the tourist was at Coco's Outback, a popular bar in the square adjacent to the Rembrandtplein entertainment district. “He had been out with some people he had just met, which is common for Richard as he is very friendly. I just said to be careful, please go home, get a cab,” his girlfriend Alicia Marie told the BBC. “We got off the phone and I texted him a picture of his address to show his cab but it never went through,” she said, thinking his phone ran out of battery. The Las Vegas resident knew something was wrong nine hours later when she still had not head from him.
Video cameras in the area captured images of Cole staggering out of a bar and into the square. "As he stumbles, a number of unknown men approach him there," police said in a statement. "He is grabbed at repeatedly. At some point they robbed him of his phone." Cole is then seen crawling less than two hundred meters away on the road alongside the Herengracht canal. A taxi driver pulled over next to him at Herengracht 537. The driver approached Cole and appeared to speak with him for about 30 seconds, before driving on towards the Vijzelstraat. "A short time later, Richard Cole rolls into the water of the Herengracht," police said. Detectives want to speak with the taxi driver who interacted with Cole, identifying him as the last known person to see the British man alive. Investigators found his body in the canal on February 1. From Dursley, England, Cole had planned a short stop in Amsterdam while traveling from Copenhagen to Assen, according to the BBC.