Man with baseball bat threatens carnival-goers

A man has been detained after he drove a car onto the route of the carnival procession in the East Flemish city Aalst. The police response was swift and the man, who is reported to have mental health issue was overpowered and handcuffed before being taken away for questioning. No one was injured in the incident and the carnival was able to continue unhindered.    

The incident happened just before 7pm on Sunday. The man is reported to have been carrying a baseball bat and several knives with him in the car. The Mayor of Aalst Christoph D’Haese (Flemish nationalist) told VRT News that the incident was not terrorist-related.

“Our police service intercepted a vehicle that had entered the vicinity of the procession. It was an unmarked car with no number plates. The driver was detained and taken to the police station for questioning. He had a baseball bat and knives with him”.     

Mr D’Haese added that "The response was quick and adequate”.  

Screeching tyres

One witness told VRT News that they had seen a car with screeching tyres drive into the street through a small opening in the fence.    

"He drove into the street and he stopped behind the cars. He got out and produced a baseball cap”.

Another witness said that the driver started shouting and that he had threatened a number of passers-by with the bat. He and a plain clothes police officer managed to over-power the man.