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Man held in Malmö after toddler hostage drama

TT/AFP/The Local · 11 Oct 2010, 19:18

Published: 11 Oct 2010 19:18 GMT+02:00

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"At around 4.15pm, a middle-aged man grabbed a two-year-old boy from his mother on Storgatan in central Malmö ... At one point he was pointing a knife at the boy," local police spokesman Calle Persson told AFP.

The man, who was not identified, was no relation of the boy and his motives remained unclear, Persson said, adding "he appears to be mentally unstable."

Police blocked off a large area near Storgatan, and outside the building there were several police cars and ambulances. A large crowd also gathered as the drama unfolded.

According to a building worker involved in renovating a mall on the corner of Storgatan and Södra Förstadsgatan, the man took the child in a part the shopping centre still open for the public. He then tried to sneak out a back door, but ended up in a hallway that is being converted from shoppes to office space.

Several negotiators and as many as 25 police officers rushed to the scene, reportedly using stun grenades when they rushed the building and arrested the man.

The man was finally arrested at 6:18 pm and the boy was unharmed, Persson said.

"The child is being reunited with his mother as quickly as possible," he said.

Criminology professor Jerzy Sarnecki told the TT news agency that children are usually only taken hostage as part of a family dispute. He considered Monday’s situation is Malmö as extremely rare.

"It’s hard to comment on, but this seems to be a person with serious psychiatric problems who has flipped out," he said.

Story continues below…

Sarnecki theorized that the man took a child rather than an adult simply because it was easier to get to a child.

"It’s something rational within the irrational," said Sarnecki.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:36 October 11, 2010 by Nemesis
What sort of sicko kidnaps a 2 year old and threatens the child with a knife.

If this person is ever released from prison, it will be a national disgrace.

A trial is to good for anyone who does that to a child.
20:54 October 11, 2010 by Lungbög
I genuinely thought the distraction grenades were gunshots being fired... A massive round of applause went up when the boy was taken out of there. Well done to all the officers at the scene and in the control room.
23:17 October 11, 2010 by Bender B Rodriquez
@Nemesis: Like the article says, a guy who is mentally unstable and does not belong in a prison but in a mental institution...
23:32 October 11, 2010 by Blanc
Watched the news a few hours ago. The boy was held just a small distance from the entrance of the building so all the witnesses could hear the boy crying for his mother (that was standing in his line of sight). The kid crying really broke my heart, but at least he's ok now. Good work solving it quickly.
01:20 October 12, 2010 by Lungbög
The mum was just standing there, almost hopping from one foot to the other, hands up to her face, staring - we didn't know at the time she could see her son. I hope she and her son recover from this.
05:38 October 12, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
Pöh. That clown just wanted behind bars for the winter.

I hope someone takes care of that dildo for us all.
12:23 October 12, 2010 by spo10
That's really scary! Thank goodness the child wasn't harmed, considering that the abductor was mentally ill. Kudos to the police who responded as quickly as they could.
13:59 October 12, 2010 by RememberAisha
A pat on the back to the police for a job very very well done.
14:12 October 12, 2010 by grantike
did anyone notice some of the polis standing there with hands folded and behind waist.while watching.anti-crime squard working.
22:03 October 12, 2010 by fridayz
@grantike, :)))))))))))))))))
23:41 October 12, 2010 by wxman
The article lacks details, but all I have to say is, Hmmmm, I wonder...
20:29 October 16, 2010 by Sam1
wxman Lol I know what you want to hear something like he was of some ME origins right lol
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