Wednesday 16 April 2014

Stabbing suspect in rooftop stand-off with Gardai

A MAN who was involved in a five hour stand-off with gardai at a popular city centre hostel has received psychiatric care while in custody, it has emerged.

A source involved in the investigation said the man has been detained under the mental health act.

"He'll be assessed while in custody at Store Street and if the specialists think it necessary, he will be taken to a psychiatric hospital for further treatment," he said.

The stand-off between gardai and the man, a foreign national, began after he was suspected of stabbing a woman in Isaac’s hostel on Frenchman’s lane in Dublin.

He had taken refuge on the roof the premises when gardai tried to arrest him.

Trained negotiators were called in shortly after 11am to try and persuade the man, believed to be in his thirties, to give himself up.

It is understood the stabbing took place on the third floor of the hostel in Dublin 1 – which is popular amongst young tourists and backpackers.

The stabbing suspect on the edge of a rooftop of a building off Store Street

It’s believed the woman was stabbed in the women's showers before she attempted to flee to her room, believed to be room 311.

She was rushed to hospital where she underwent treatment.

However, her injuries were not life-threatening, and she was later released.

Scores of shoppers and locals watched in horror as the man, dressed in jeans and glasses, threatened to jump if anybody approached him.

As the drama unfolded, extra officers were drafted in from Store Street station as large numbers of people gathered close to the scene.

The stabbing suspect on the edge of a rooftop of a building off Store Street

Residents in the hostel described how, shortly after 11.15am, the man was seen standing at the edge of the roof where he "rocked back and forth" before deciding not to jump.

"He took his jacket off and threw it on the street below. He was asking people below for a cigarette because he was clearly in a state and wanted to calm his nerves," one resident, who was staying in Isaac's hostel, told the Herald.

"The guards strategically placed a garda van directly underneath him so that if he did jump it might break his fall."

Gary Menzies, a tourist from Liverpool, said he was "dragged" out of his bed yesterday morning by three gardai searching for the knife-wielding suspect.

"I was staying on the top floor, and I saw a woman taken away in an ambulance so obviously she was injured. All they said to me was that there was a guy on the roof with a knife.

"He had a black jacket on but he took that off, rolled it into a ball and threw it at the people on the street below.

He added: "When he was standing at the edge of the building, he kept looking behind him. He was probably checking to see if the guards had arrived yet.

"At one stage he was definitely going to jump, but then he changed his mind."

A passer-by attempted to threw a cigarette up to him early on in the stand-off, onlookers said.

Another resident, who was staying in a room next to the woman in the hostel, said he saw blood "splattered everywhere" in the female showering area located on the third floor.

"She tried to get away from him by running back to her room," he added.

The street was cordoned off to the watching public at around 11.30am and gardai moved the crowd down from the scene of the stand-off.

The man, a foreign national, remained in an obvious state of alarm on the chimney stack, and was seen moving back and forth between TV aerials, making phone calls on his mobile phone and smoking the odd cigarette.

Trained negotiators provided him with a blanket to keep him warm.

Two units of the Fire Service attended the scene, which is located directly beside the Beresford Hotel.

All streets surrounding Frenchman's Lane were cordoned off as gardai evacuated residents from neighbouring businesses.

The hostel is located just a few yards away from Store Street Garda Station and Busaras.

The man gave himself up at approximately 3.50pm, following five-hour standoff with gardai. 

Irish Independent

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