Man held after Glasgow restaurant stand-off


Click to follow
The Independent Online

A 38-year-old man was in custody today after being arrested following an eight-hour stand-off with armed police at an Italian restaurant in Glasgow city centre.

Officers evacuated Amarone Restaurant and its surrounding buildings after being called to reports of a man "acting suspiciously" at around 3.45pm yesterday.

A number of roads around Nelson Mandela Place were also closed as specialist police negotiators, armed officers and a Royal Navy bomb disposal unit were dispatched to the scene.

Strathclyde Police confirmed the individual was detained at around 11.45pm after armed officers stormed the basement level restaurant. He was taken to hospital for check-ups, a force spokeswoman added.

Police said they were called to an "incident" at the eatery and evacuated both those inside and those occupying surrounding buildings as a "precaution".

The stand-off involved one man who was contained alone inside the premises, the force spokeswoman added.

Negotiators had been speaking to the suspect over a megaphone at the scene before he was detained.

Strathclyde Police said: "In relation to an incident in Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow, yesterday evening, we can confirm a 38-year-old-man has been arrested and is presently detained in police custody.

"There may be continued restrictions to the immediate area as the investigation is ongoing.

"Members of the public are thanked for their continuing co-operation and understanding of any inconvenience this may cause."

It is believed the incident is not terror-related.

Parts of Buchanan Street and West George Street were closed off by officers while Buchanan Street subway station was also shut down. Travellers were asked to use St Enoch station instead.

A large crowd of onlookers gathered behind the police cordon on West Nile Street.

Ambulance staff wearing helmets and fire crews were also called to the scene with police officers wearing balaclavas and carrying rifle bags seen by onlookers.

Just before the man was detained, three armed officers wearing all black made their way round the side of the building, gripping on to window ledges, before running into the restaurant shouting. No shots were fired.

Two police support units were ushered in through the cordon and five minutes later both drove off with their blue lights flashing.

Michael Irwin, a 19-year-old Glasgow University student from East Kilbride, had been travelling on the underground system to Buchanan Street when he and other passengers were told they would have to get off at St Enoch.

He said the area had been closed off since 4.30pm.

Mr Irwin said: "I saw armed officers with shields in the area. The dog branch was brought in and there were just loads of emergency services all over the place."