Police ‘threatened crowd with taser’ after hundreds lined Sheffield street outside dying man's house

A resident claimed that police acted aggressively towards a crowd who had gathered outside the house of a Sheffield man as paramedics battled to save his life last night.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 1:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 3:39 pm

Hundreds of people gathered outside a terraced house on Willoughby Street, Page Hall after a man in his 30s went into cardiac arrest on New Year's Day.

The man's neighbour, who requested anonymity, said that the police officers who attended the incident had a "bad attitude" towards the crowd and threatened to tase them if they failed to disperse.

"The police officers were pushing them and swearing at them. One of the officers also told the crowd to go back or they would tase us," he said.

Huge crowd gathered outside this terraced house on Willoughby St on New Year's night after a man reportedly had cardiac arrest

He also claimed that it took about an hour for the ambulance to arrive at the scene and was shocked to see that the police officers outnumbered the paramedics.

"The ambulance was very slow. It took them about one hour to arrive but the police were first on the scene,” he said, adding that the man

He said most who gathered last night were the man's family members and friends who live on the same street and they were devastated about what happened.

"He came from a nice family and worked as a factory worker. The family are obviously crushed by the incident.

"We are all very surprised because we live in a close-knit community. It's supposed to be a nice start to the New Year, not this," he said.

Another resident said the police had to escort the ambulance off the estate due to the rowdy crowd.

"They were literally hundreds of people there, mainly from the Roma community, loud screams and wails when (he) was brought out. He must have been a well-known member of the Roma community," he said.

He also claimed that sporadic fighting kept breaking out amongst the crowd amid the heavy police presence.

Alan Gill, who has lived on the street for 42 years, however said there was "hardly surprising" about anything that happens in the area.

"I'm not really shocked. Nothing that happens in the area shocks you anymore. This area used to be bad but it calmed down the last few months.

"But the past few days, it seems to have picked up again," said the 73-year-old.

In an immediate response, South Yorkshire Police said there were no reports on any kind of disorder, hostility or aggression when the police attended the incident.

A spokeswoman said: “We were called by the ambulance and at what time and that on the log, there is no information to suggest any disorder at the scene.

“We were called by the ambulance service to assist as large crowds had gathered but there is nothing on the log to suggest that there were any issues.

“Our log also states that two ambulances were already on the scene when we received the call.”