The Malta Independent 8 May 2021, Saturday

Updated - Watch: Man arrested in Pieta after six-hour police operation

Monday, 2 November 2020, 10:14 Last update: about 6 months ago

A man from Serbia was arrested in Pieta’ last night in a police operation that took more than six hours.

Video footage shows officers demanding that the man gives up his weapons, which included firearms and knives, but the man initially refused.

The confrontation started in Qrejten Street at around 7.30pm when police were informed that the man, from Serbia, was causing damage to third party property, the police said.

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The man, aged 35, was also threatening neighbours, the police said in a statement.

Upon seeing police officers from the Rapid Intervention Unit arrive, the man entered into a private residence and locked himself in.

Officers knocked on the door and when the man opened he brandished a knife and threatened the officers that he would shoot them, a police statement said.

The roads surrounding the block were then cordoned off as negotiations with the man started.

Officers are heard in footage uploaded on the social media demanding that the man gives up his weapons, which he initially refused.

The police said that hours passed as the man was seen walking around his residence and in a yard armed with a pistol.

At this point, other officers from the Special Intervention Unit arrived on site, but the man refused to surrender.

It was around 2am that SIU officers entered the residence, using flashbangs to disorient the aggressor.

One of the dogs which were kept in the residence attacked the officers, who were constrained to shoot tranquillers. Members of the Animal Welfare Department took over responsibility for the dog.

The man was later arrested while on his bed, armed with a shotgun and pistol.

A search in the residence yielded hundreds of cartridges, other weapons and swords, together with pointed wooden instruments.

Two other dangerous dogs were later taken away by the Animal Welfare Department, the police said.

Magistrate Neville Camilleri is leading an inquiry.

TVM reports that for a time Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa was on site.

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