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Man who brandished meat cleaver in store arrested at scene
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A man who brandished a meat cleaver in a Leicester store was arrested at the scene after being challenged by officers.
Police were called to the store in New Park Street at 8.35am on 11 November last year following reports that a man in possession of a knife was inside the store.
In the interests of public and officer safety, armed police were deployed to the scene leading to an officer speaking with the man who was still carrying the item which was later determined to be a meat cleaver.
When the suspect continued walking towards officers, he was challenged by police to stay still and drop the cleaver. This led to the man putting the cleaver down. He was then arrested.
Witnesses in the store reported fearing for their lives as staff worked to evacuate the building at the time of the incident. No-one was reported injured and the suspect arrested, Janusz Samonek, was taken into custody.
Officers remained at the scene carrying out enquiries including speaking with witnesses and analysing CCTV footage. Police also remained in the area providing reassurance following the incident.
The investigative work led to Samonek, 37, of Wilmington Road, Leicester, being charged in connection with the incident.
Yesterday (Monday), at Leicester Crown Court, Samonek was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years with a 10-day rehabilitation requirement after pleading guilty to affray and two counts of possession of a bladed article.
He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and subjected to a four-month curfew from 8pm until 4.30am.
Samonek had entered the store on the morning of 11 November before approaching a member of staff, opening a backpack he was carrying and taking the meat cleaver out.
He was reported to have raised the meat cleaver above his shoulders and brought it back down before walking around the store, hitting the shelf with the meat cleaver.
Following Samonek’s arrest, the meat cleaver was seized and the backpack was searched where a black lock knife was also found.
Police Constable Mona Saad said: “It is extremely fortunate that no-one was injured in this incident. Staff at the store showed true bravery as they calmly evacuated the store to ensure the safety of members of the public.
“Officers were quickly deployed to the scene, confronting the suspect and ensuring a quick arrest.
“Carrying an offensive weapon puts lives in danger and action will be taken against anyone found to be in possession of one.”