ARMED police patrolled the streets of Sandsend on Sunday, searching for a missing man who was rumoured to be armed and potentially dangerous.
The 33-year-old had been missing from the Middlesbrough area since Saturday night – and when his vehicle was discovered parked in Sandsend seafront a large multi-force operation began.
In addition to armed police and canine teams, a Cleveland police helicopter flew over the area and the coastguard and two mountain rescue teams were enlisted to help with the search for the man, who was described as “in a very depressed” state.
Whitby Police’s Sgt Soumen Mukerjee said: “We have been engaged in an operation with Cleveland police, looking for a male who has been reported missing and may be in the vicinity.
“We are concerned about his safety and welfare”.
The search for the man was widespread and encompassed Raithwaite, Kettleness and Mulgrave Woods.
With many holidaymakers enjoying the glorious weather, the highly-visible presence of police led to widespread confusion about what was taking place.
One witness said: “The police helicopter has been over twice and the whole place has been crawling with police.
“I heard they were searching for someone with a knife, but then I spoke to some people who said ‘I think it’s a bit more serious than a knife’, so nobody knows what’s going on.”
The Cleveland Search and Rescue team and Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue were both tasked with searching for the man and Peter Mounsey, secretary of Cleveland Rescue, said: “We have the expertise to deal with a search away from the coast and we were asked by Cleveland Police to help out.
“They say he’s in a depressed state but that he’s not a danger to anybody apart from himself.”
The search and rescue teams were stood down at approximately 7pm but the police search continued and the man was eventually found at 8.30pm.
He was arrested on suspicion of harassment and suspicion of possession of a controlled drug and is currently in police custody in Middlesbrough.