Man shows a kitchen knife in Ypres city hall and is arrested
The city hall in Ieper was the scene of a bizarre incident in Ieper this morning, when a man entered the place to show a big kitchen knife. He mostly pointed the knife at himself, and police managed to talk to him to convince him to hand over the weapon. The man was apprehended and will receive mental help.
The incident happened around 10 o'clock, says Glenn Verdru of the local police zone Arro Ieper. "He was standing at the check-in but he actually did not threaten anybody. He was very emotional and mostly pointed the knife at himself. We had a long talk with him. He calmed down and came with us. He was more likely to injure himself rather than other people."
People at the check-in desk reacted very well, says director Stefan Depraetere. They alerted the police and made sure they were safe.
The man is thought to be an asylum seeker in his thirties from Togo who will probably have to leave Belgium again. His action in Ieper is probably connected to his asylum procedure, says Glenn Verdru: "He had some papers with him saying he was very happy with his stay in Belgium, but that he will probably be sent back." The man will undergo a mental check and may be sent to a psychiatric clinic. He will be monitored to make sure he does not put himself or other people in danger.
Watch the statement of the police spokesman in this video: