London police catch man after knife attack
LONDON; A suspected knifeman was seen walking “casually” near the British Museum with three blades before stabbing a man in the arm. The alleged attacker was arrested when police swooped on the tourist attraction in Great Russell Street, central London, at around 10am.
He attempted to flee the scene, but was detained by officers on suspicion of causing grievous body harm a short distance away.
A witness said: “I was walking to the chemist when I saw a man holding three huge silver knives. The blade and handle were silver and I couldn’t see the join between them. It was quite quiet at the time. People were looking at him but no one was reacting.
“I went into the chemist in a panic and told them there was a man with three knives and to call the police. The chemist left and started to follow him down the road to Bloomsbury Square, but he lost him in the park.
“We knew he was heading in the direction of the museum and there are a lot of tourists around there.” She said she saw a police officer placing a large knife, around a foot long, into an evidence bag.
The woman added: “The police van was parked on my street and as they put him into the van he stared at me and my husband. It was chilling and felt intimidating.”
The condition of the middle-aged male victim, said by witnesses to have been “dropping in blood”, is being assessed after he suffered a stab wound to the arm. The man is understood to have been attacked while waiting in the queue to enter the museum.
A blue forensics tent could be seen outside the railings of the museum on the junction of Great Russell Street and Museum Street, just metres from the entrance. All visitors were evacuated from the museum as a precaution, before it reopened at lunchtime with a “heightened search operation” in place.
“A man was treated for a stab wound to the arm at the scene and taken by London Ambulance Service to hospital. His condition is being assessed.
“This was an isolated incident and there is no outstanding risk to the public. It is not being treated as terror-related. The scene may be in place for much of today.”
A 27-year-old American woman said she was about to enter the queue at the British Museum when she was told to leave by police because someone had been stabbed.
“We decided it was a good time to go, then we walked out and a cop directly in front of us told us we needed to leave and that the crime scene was large.
“I heard that someone was stabbed and the ambulance was parked inside near the grass area and then rushed down the street, right by me, with police following behind.
He attempted to escape and was “dripping blood everywhere”, the witness claimed.
A London Ambulance Service statement added: “We were called at 10.19am to reports of a stabbing on Great Russell Street, WC1B.
“We treated a man at the scene for an arm injury before taking him to a major trauma centre as a priority.”
The British Museum, in Bloomsbury, offers a huge collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures – spanning over two million years of human life.
A spokesperson said: The Museum was closed this morning due to an incident following a member of the public being attacked nearby.
“The Museum’s security team supported at the scene until the emergency services arrived.