Birmingham, England- Police reportedly detained an unidentified man after he arrived at a vigil in Victoria Square with an axe and baseball bat (originally reported as a large knife). The vigil was for the 22 victims that died in the terrorist attack yesterday. ISIS claimed responsibility several hours after the attack.
The vigil was one of tens across the country to pay tribute to the 22 people killed in the terror attack at the Manchester Arena last night.
But police were forced to interrupt after they detained a man armed with a large knife and baseball bat.
The man was hear loudly shouting out as he was handcuffed and led away by West Midlands Police, just yards from where 1,000 people were gathered in the city’s main Victoria Square.” – Express UK
Victoria Square appears to have been reopened following the arrest with an increased police presence.
The West Midlands Police released the statement below:
A man has been arrested following a disturbance near a vigil in Birmingham city centre this evening (Wednesday 23 May 2017).
The 39-year-old Birmingham man – who is known to police and is thought to have a history of mental ill-health – was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.
The event was being held in support of the victims of yesterday’s Manchester terror attack.
Superintendent Andy Parsons, responsible for policing in the west of Birmingham, said: “Officers spotted the man acting suspiciously and spoke to him. At this point they have arrested him.
“The man was carrying a bag, and as a precaution, Victoria Square where the vigil was being held was cleared for around 15 minutes.
“A small axe was recovered along with a large stick.
“We will be interviewing the man to understand his intentions after mental health experts have assessed his condition.
“I’d like to thank people for the calm and collected way in which they responded to the incident. The professionalism of our officers who responded to the incident is also commendable and indicative of British policing.”
The charity Mind is available around the clock to help people experiencing a mental health crisis. Visit their website for advice and support including information for loved ones: www.mind.org.uk“
— Olivia Marks (@OliviaMarksMIB) May 23, 2017
Featured image courtesy of Twitter