Sunday 24 September 2017

Sword-wielding man threatens to kill himself in Apple's flagship Manhattan store

Mr Chien can be used holding the large blade as he walks down the glass stairs Credit: Jimmy Chen\Banjo
Mr Chien can be used holding the large blade as he walks down the glass stairs Credit: Jimmy Chen\Banjo

David Kearns

A sword-wielding man brought Apple’s flagship New York store to standstill as he threatened to kill himself in front of hundreds of people before being tackled by off-duty police.

Hsu Chien (30) walked into the teach giant’s store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and walked up to its second level before pulling out a katana blade and shouting at onlookers he was going to kill himself.

As the packed store is brought to a standstill, one shopper managed to capture the scene on video.

Wearing a hat and sunglasses, Mr Chien can be seen brandished the samurai sword and swinging it at the air as he walks back and forth on the store’s spiral staircase.

"The blade must have been, I don't know, I mean, two feet, 23 inches, curved," said one witness.

"He was flailing. He wasn't, but thank God, he wasn't on the floor. And people were petrified he was en route to come onto the floor," said another.  

Police arrest Mr Chien following the incident Credit: Keith Davis\Twitter
Police arrest Mr Chien following the incident Credit: Keith Davis\Twitter

At one point, the 30-year-old begins to count down, leading to many in the store to panic and run for the exits as they fear he might have a bomb.

As Mr Chien continued to swing the sword around, it slipped from his grasp – giving  two off-duty police officers the opportunity  to tackle him and remove the sword.

Mr Chien was then taken to hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, and was later charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

The incident was not terror-related, police confirmed.

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