[FULL] Knife Wielding Maniac at Buckinham Palace
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Published on Feb 3, 2013
Police were on Sunday forced to Taser a man who ran towards Buckingham Palace wielding knives in the air and holding a blade to his throat before throngs of tourists. The man, thought to be in his 50s, broke from the crowd in the middle of the Changing of the Guard ceremony, holding one blade to his chest and another to his throat.
As an officer tried to intervene, the man lunged at him waving both knives and was shot with the stun gun.
He was arrested on suspicion of affray and taken away in a police van. Officers at the scene suggested he was known to them and was mentally ill.
A police cordon was thrown around the scene just 30 metres from the palace gates.
The two knives the man had been carrying, an Afghan-style hat, a set of prayer beads and his high-top trainers remained within the cordon alongside Taser barb, the wire released as the electrical current is discharged from the gun.
The Band of the Grenadier Guards played on through the melee as baffled tourists watched the incident unfold shortly before 12pm.
Josh Greenberg, a sixth-form student at St Paul's School in London, said: "I was walking past the palace, heard some commotion in the area next to the Victoria Memorial looked to my right, the guy ran out into the middle of the square with a knife at his neck.
"Within a few seconds he was surrounded by police horses and officers on foot. Less than two minutes later a car came with officers with Tasers.
"One stood in front of him and the other went around from behind and discharged the Taser then the police got him on the floor, kicked the knives away and put him in the back of a van.
"He was shouting but it was quite unintelligible. Police were clearly telling him to drop the knife and instructing public to get back."
A video posted online showed the bespectacled man standing alone near the Victoria Memorial.
A mounted policewoman yelled at the crowds to move back as he held one of the blades to his throat. As the officer pointed the Taser in his direction he lurched at him, waving the knives in the air.
As the man fell to the ground he was quickly surrounded by officers who checked him over before carrying him away.
Eyewitness Kevin Burrows, 33, a kitchen porter from Kingston, Surrey, said: "The crowd had been pushed back behind a barrier but he came at the police. He was threatening them with knives.
"The police saw him and acted very quickly. They surrounded him within seconds. I saw the shot fired. It took a couple of seconds for him to hit the ground.
"I've never seen anything like it before. I didn't expect that, I didn't expect it whatsoever."
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