Armed seige arrest: 10-hour stand-off as man with hammer causes chaos

A man is arrested and lead out of Rotherham Town hall at 7:30''Pix - Alex Roebuck
A man is arrested and lead out of Rotherham Town hall at 7:30''Pix - Alex Roebuck
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This is the dramatic moment a ten-hour armed siege which brought a South Yorkshire town centre to a standstill came to an end with the arrest of a topless, blood-spattered man.

The 36-year-old man – armed with a hammer – had barricaded himself into Rotherham Town Hall and refused to move.

After hours of discussions with specialist trained negotiators, and a full-scale response from emergency service crews, he came out of the building of his own accord at about 7.30pm on Saturday.

Shouting and topless with blood over his chest, he was arrested on suspicion of burglary and later quizzed by police.

An eyewitness said: “Just before 7.30pm he was banging about and seemed to be trying to put the window through.

“There were people standing outside trying to talk to him – police officers and one family member, I think.

“At about 7.30pm they brought him out. He came out with no top on and blood on his chest.

“He was shouting and the police put him in their van.”

The drama began to unfold at about 9.45am on Saturday, when police were called after the burglar alarm was triggered at the town hall.

The incident soon turned into a full-scale emergency services response involving police cars, riot vans, ambulance responders and other emergency support units.

South Yorkshire firefighters were on strike at the time due to their ongoing row with the government over pensions but a contingency crew was called in and remained on-site all day.

The whole area was taped off, The Crofts was closed to traffic and members of the public congregated to watch as riot police, negotiators and other personnel went in and out of the building.

One passer-by said: “I just saw all the police cars coming up the road this morning so I came to see what was going on.

“Apparently he got in through the roof. It’s been a very long stand-off.”

Chantelle Hubbard, 17, of Maltby, said: “I saw the riot vans come and the police dogs.

“It’s scary because this is where we come to chill out. It’s scary somebody could be capable of threatening to hurt either themselves or others.”

Her friend Emily Parker, also 17, of Whiston, said: “The first things I saw were the police cars and the police tape.

“This is where we come for a day out so it’s a shock that this is happening.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We would like to thank members of the public for the patience demonstrated during the operation.”