A fugitive wielding a foot-long machete climbed onto the roof of a block of flats in a four-hour stand-off with police before he was arrested for attempted murder.
The man climbed out of the bedroom window of his top-floor flat to escape police called to reports of a stabbing at Nisbet House in Homerton High Street, east London, at 8.20pm on Friday.
He hurled tiles off the roof and tore guttering from the five-storey block.
Witnesses today told the Standard the man began shouting “Allah Allah” and “I’m going to stab all white people” while striking the machete against roof tiles.
A neighbour in his 40s said: “At first I thought he was singing but then he started hurling abuse and chanting at the crowd that had gathered below. He had an audience and was playing up to it.
“He had a machete that was about a foot long and started hitting the roof with it.
“There was a helicopter shining its light on him and you could see the sparks coming off and the silver glint of the machete.“
Witnesses said several people were evacuated from the block while the drama unfolded.
A woman in her thirties said: “When he had been up there a while he started screaming ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’ and a bit later he started shouting that he was going to stab all the white people.
“I think he lives in the same part of the block where he was standing and had climbed out of his own window to escape.
“There were lots of police here because they didn’t know what kind of weapon he had.”
Another neighbour said: “At first I didn’t know what was going on until I saw a police officer point to the roof of my block of flats. I looked up and saw a man holding what looked like a huge knife.
“The man seemed very angry and started to hit tiles off the building with his knife and pull down the guttering.”
The man climbed back inside his flat and was arrested by police at 12.30am on Saturday on suspicion of attempted murder.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “Police were called at 8pm on Friday by the London Ambulance Service where a man had been stabbed inside an address in Nisbet House, Hackney.
“Officers attended and found a man in his forties with stab wounds and he was taken by ambulance to hospital. The suspect was locked in the flat. He threatened police and got out of a bedroom window.
“Officers got onto the roof and saw him with a machete. At around 12.30am a man in his forties was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and remains in custody at an East London police Station.”
The victim of the stabbing was discharged from hospital after being treated for his injuries.