Gwent, Wales, UK – Gwent Police released bodycam footage on Tuesday of officers taking down a knife-wielding man with a Taser and their bare hands (video below).
The incident began when police were called to an apartment building on Oct. 2, 2017, for a report of a man who was banging on doors and behaving erratically, according to a press release from the Gwent Police.
The first officers who responded to the scene encountered 36-year-old Tony Buttigieg waving two large kitchen knives in the air and behaving as though he were under the influence of a substance or alcohol in the vestibule behind the glass fire doors, and so they called for backup, police said.
“Two local officers who were first on the scene contained Tony Buttigieg until the arrival of our specially trained officers carrying a Taser,” the press release read.
Not every police officer in the United Kingdom carries a gun or Taser. When officers encounter an armed suspect, they have to call for members of the “Area Support Unit” to respond and assist them.
One of the officers “quarantined” Buttigieg until the backup arrived by holding the fire doors to the vestibule shut, police said.
“Hi mate, you okay? Keep nice and calm for me. Keep nice and calm. I’m officer with a Taser. What I need you to do is put the knife down for me,” Gwent Police Constable Rhydian Jones told Buttigieg when he arrived at the scene.
But the man became more agitated, and started waiving the knives around in the air again, and poking at himself with them threatening self-harm, the video showed.
Constable Jones tried to negotiate with Buttigieg to get him to put the knives down, but the man wasn’t interested in working with the officer, the video showed.
“I need you to put the knives down for me… is there anything I can reasonably say or do to help you put those knives down?” Constable Jones asked.
The Welsh police were exceptionally courteous to the disturbed man throughout the entire exchange, the video showed.
“If you continue to hold those knives the way you are, we may be forced to use Tasers. Do you understand that?” the constable asked him in a gentle voice.
In the video, officers can be seen game-planning outside the fire door, and Gwent Police Constable Gareth Marsh lined up to deploy his Taser on the man.
Finally, the video showed Constable Jones as he whipped open the fire door separating police from the knife-wielding man, and Constable Marsh shot Buttigieg with his Taser in the next second.
But the Taser failed, and it did not stop Buttigieg.
Instead, he raised both knives and lunged at Constable Jones, stabbing madly at his torso, as Constable Marsh backed up and continued sending bolts of electricity through the wires to shock the suspect, the video showed.
Constable Jones stopped Buttigieg with his bare hands, and managed to get himself behind the man so he could do a takedown from behind and disarm the man, the video showed.
At that point, Gwent Police Constable Ashley Cotton jumped into the fray and assisted in taking the knives away from the suspect.
The knives were tossed over the railing and away from the suspect’s reach, and Buttigieg was taking into custody, the video showed.
“Gwent Police take incidents like this very seriously. Luckily, the outcome wasn’t fatal but nonetheless it was traumatic for all those involved. Tony Buttigieg acted with blatant disregard for both the public and attending officers which is totally unacceptable,” Gwent Police Detective Chief Inspector Nick Wilkie said in the press release.
“The body worn video footage is particularly harrowing to watch and reminds us of the risks officers face every day, when officers are simply carrying out their duty,” the chief inspector said.
“Our officers showed exceptional professionalism and bravery when confronted by an intoxicated, agitated man in possession of two large knives, taking decisive action and courageously protecting the public from possible harm,” he said.
Buttigieg was arrested and remanded to custody for the attempted murder of Constable Jones, police said.
He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of attempted grievous bodily harm on Feb. 19, and was sentenced to four years in prison for his attack on Constable Jones.
All three constables involved in the altercation were awarded Chief Constable’s Commendations for their bravery, the press release said.
Watch the crazed man attack officers with knives in the video below: