Staff were forced to flee a popular Melbourne restaurant as a man armed with knives, scissors and even a meat cleaver, threatened police during a dramatic siege.
The man was seen smashing furniture and windows while flinging shards of glass on to the street below him.
It’s believed he stormed in from off the street and headed up stairs to the first floor of ‘Little Ipoh’ Malaysian restaurant on Latrobe St just before 1pm Tuesday.
Fortunately there were no customers inside, however the staff were left terrified and forced to flee for safety.
The man was seen from afar wielding a meat cleaver, his hands were also reportedly seen covered in blood.
As he ranted and raved, the accused could be heard calling for his mother.
He also referred to himself as ‘The Messiah’.
Police believed the incident was not religious or politically motivated.
Emergency services quickly cordoned off Latrobe St between Queen and Elizabeth.
It took the police critical response unit more than two hours to negotiate with the man.
Eventually he appeared on the footpath, still ranting as police quickly surrounded and handcuffed him.
The man was taken away in an ambulance where he was treated for cuts to his hands and mentally assessed.
Police have since said they believed the man did not know anyone who worked at the restaurant.
They were also yet to learn what sparked the incident.
If you or someone you know is struggling mentally contact LifeLine on 13 11 14. If your life is in immediate danger contact 000.
EARLIER: An armed man that held police at bay for more than two hours in a Melbourne siege will be assessed for mental health issues.
Melbourne West Acting Senior Sergeant Adam Tanner said the man, believed to be in his late 20s, appeared to suffer a mental health episode during the stand-off that was peacefully resolved.
It is understood the man, who appears to be of Asian descent, has no connection to the ground level café or first floor Malaysian restaurant on La Trobe St, which he entered around 1pm today.
It is believed café staff on the ground floor called police when the man began to wield a meat cleaver before moving to the first floor restaurant where he smashed front facing windows and remained, yelling at police from one of the broken panes.
The man could reportedly be heard telling authorities from the window that he was a Prophet of Islam and that wanted his mother.
Seven News Melbourne reporter Nick McCallum said that he heard the man, clearly audible from 50m away, shouting, ‘shoot me’ and ‘I am going to die’.
Police do not believe race or religion to be a motive for the incident that is being investigated.
“There is absolutely nothing to suggest this had any connection to religion, race or terrorist link,” Acting Senior Sergeant Tanner said.
There were no customers in the building and staff was safely evacuated from as special force officers opened negotiations with the shirtless man, who appeared agitated and brandished a bloodied hand.
The man threw items out of the window including apples, orange peel, a backpack, can of soft drink and cash during the ordeal. He moved between lying down near the windowsill and standing up to speak to authorities. At one stage he could be seen cutting an orange with a knife and eating it. He also appeared with a pair of scissors.
The man walked out of the ground level exit unassisted around 3.10pm with his hands behind his head.
He appeared to deliberate with police before he was sat down at the scene and treated by paramedics for minor injuries believed to have occurred from the damage he caused inside the restaurant.
He was transported to hospital under police custody around 3.30pm.