A MAN who barricaded himself in his loft after throwing petrol bombs at police during a 24-hour siege was tonight in custody.

The 47-year-old at the centre of a stand-off with armed officers was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill and criminal damage.

He gave himself up following protracted negotiations to persuade him to leave his home in Lintz Terrace, Burnopfield, County Durham. 

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Chief Inspector Richie Allen said: “This type of incident is very unusual, but thankfully, we do have officers who are trained to deal with it. 
“There were firearms officers and public order officers involved. 

Watch as petrol bombs are thrown at police

“No police officers or the man arrested were injured. We would like to thank members of the community for their patience and co-operation during this incident.”

The drama began at around 1pm on Wednesday when a man call police complaining about mental health issues.
When officers arrived they were pelted with around half a dozen petrol bombs.

An armed response unit was mobilised and officers with guns, protected by those with riot shields, surrounded the semi-detached house.

Firefighters, paramedics and a gas engineer were also placed on standby so emergency services were fully ready to deal with any possible outcome.

Attempts to persuade the man to come out at Wednesday teatime with met with angry shouts of abuse and two more petrol bombs, one of which exploded into a fireball at the feet of officers.

The siege continued throughout the night and was resolved peacefully just before 1pm on Thursday when armed officers entered he house and talked the man into coming down from the loft.

Ch Insp Allen said: “He has come out by means of negotiation. He has gone into the loft and did initially barricade himself up there. The negotiators have continued to engage with him and have, thankfully, brought the situation to peaceful conclusion.

“Now it is at the beginning of an investigative process. The man has been arrested and taken into custody. He will be dealt with from there.” 

The dramatic scenes drew large crowds of members of the community, some of whom travelled from surrounding villages, to watch as it unfolded.
But parents with children who usually play in the street have described seeing petrol bombs explode in their neighbourhood as ‘terrifying.’

Father-of-two Adam Lillistone: “It has been strange. Nothing like this normally happens. It is a quiet street in a quiet village where everyone knows each other, so it has come as bit of a shock.

“It is obviously a bit unsettling having kids and seeing police walking around with guns but they have done what they had to do. I am glad it has ended the way it has. There is a bit glass on the road on the road but there is no lasting damage.”

Stephen Brownless, 31, who has two sons, one aged four, the other ten months, and his wife Emma barely slept on Wednesday night.

Mr Brownless said: “There was shouting and bawling until about half twelve. We had armed police outside all night.

“Having petrol bombs thrown at the house was pretty worrying, especially as the children were in the house.

“We don’t really know him because he does not really speak to us. He is normally so quiet, so obviously to come back to this when we had return home is quite a shock.

"It has been terrifying.”