A DISTRESSED man who posed a “serious danger” to himself and police officers was tasered and arrested after threatening armed police with a kitchen knife in a stand-off at the top of Ruswarp viaduct on Thursday night.
The 50-year-old Whitby man, who was drunk, was also threatening to leap off the 120ft high structure into the River Esk.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “This was a particularly tense situation involving a highly distressed individual who posed a serious danger to himself and to the police officers who attended to help him.”
A team of armed officers and specialist police negotiators were called to the scene and police also called in support from the ambulance, fire services, the Coastguard and Whitby Lifeboat, who were positioned below the viaduct with the inshore lifeboat.
The man was in an “agitated state” throughout the negotiation phase and made repeated threats with the knife, so police decided to use a taser to subdue him. He was arrested on suspicion of affray and being in possession of a knife at approximately 12.15am on Friday.
The police spokesman added: “The use of a taser is one of a number of tactical options available to police when faced with violence or the threat of violence.
“Its purpose is to temporarily incapacitate an individual in order to control and neutralise the threat they pose.
“Police always aim to resolve such incidents through communication and on many occasions this is the case.
“But in some situations such as this one, officers need to adopt a different approach to prevent harm to all concerned.”
Following questioning and a medical assessment by doctors, the man was released on unconditional bail, pending further enquiries, on Friday afternoon.
Witnesses or anyone with information that could assist the police investigation should call North Yorkshire Police on 0845 6060247, quoting reference number 12110144432. Information can also be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.