Brighton firefighters were on hand to help following an incident at a Sainsbury’s store in the City in which a man was claiming to have a gun and a bomb.
Crews were called to the incident at 3.28pm yesterday (14th May) after the man locked himself in the toilets. Sussex Police were at the scene and the stand-off finally ended at the supermarket, in Lewes Road, after five and a half hours.
The man had shut himself in the toilets since 2.15pm, with no-one else in there with him. The area was quickly cleared to ensure there was no danger to the public or store staff. Sainsbury’s closed the store while specialist negotiators engaged with the man.
At 7.41pm, officers gained entry to the toilet and the man was secured. No firearm or explosive device was found. Firefighters stood by with a hose reel jet and wearing breathing apparatus in case a fire was started.
ESFRS Borough Commander for the City, Mark Rist, said:
“'A fire crew from Preston Circus Community Fire Station stood by at the incident as he had made a number of claims relating to fire, which in the end proved to be false.
“The Fire Service Incident Commander maintained a close liaison with Sussex Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service colleagues throughout the incident to ensure the protection of Police Officers, the individual and the store.”
A 46-year-old man from Essex was arrested in connection with making threats to commit criminal damage and was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton to be checked over before being taken into custody.