Terrified shoppers told yesterday (Mon) how they fled a busy city centre after a half-naked man tried to “gut himself” – with a SAMURAI SWORD.
Police and paramedics dashed to Broadgate, in Coventry, at around 12pm after to reports of a man who was believed to have injured himself with the 2ft-long blade.
The man, in his 30s, was taken to hospital with minor injuries before being detained under the Mental Health Act.
Witnesses said the man appeared to be wielding a samurai-style sword before the emergency services arrived.
Passerby Chris Kelly told how he saw blood on the floor as police restrained the man who was arrested by the Godiva statue.
He said: “We were walking through Broadgate and there were about five to six police officers tending to this guy on the ground in front of the Lady Godiva statue.
“We thought he was being restrained at first but then saw pools of blood and splatter on the pavement.
“Ambulance cut through and they loaded him on.
“Apparently he was waving a sword and cutting himself with it, may have even stabbed himself, sort of Harikari (ritual suicide with a sword).
“Police tackled him and disarmed him then gave him first aid.
“One of his hands was raised covered in a bandage, obviously trying to keep the blood flowing but did not see a weapon, however there was definitely a bladed weapon involved by the looks of the injuries.
“My girlfriend is Australian so she was a bit shocked, I just wanted to get out of there.
“It doesn’t surprise me in the UK, that’s why I moved to Australia.”
Shopper Anthony Wood, 34, said: “I’d just got my lunch when there was shouting and screaming and people running everywhere.
“One young mum was running with her baby in her arms shouting, ‘He’s got a sword, he’s tried to gut himself.’
“Suddenly loads of police officer rushed towards the (Lady Godiva) statue and rugby tackled a man to the ground.
“It looked like he’d cut himself and the sword was taken away. It was at least 2ft in length.
“It was a pretty scary thing to happen in the middle of a boring Monday in Coventry.”
One image circulating on social media shows a topless man being handcuffed on the floor by two officers.
Something which appears to resemble a sword can be seen on the floor nearby.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “Police were called to Broadgate, city centre, Coventry at around noon today following reports of a man in possession of a bladed article.
“A man believed to be in his thirties, with minor injuries, was detained under the mental health act and is currently being supported by police and other agencies.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We were called just before 12.05pm.
“One ambulance attended and treated a male patient and he was taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.”