A knife-wielding man reported to be targeting Jewish people in in north London was arrested after threatening a shopkeeper on Tuesday. According to witnesses, the man stormed into a kosher shop in Upper Clapton Road shouting: "Where is the boss, I will kill him!"
When he was told the owner was not there, the knifeman ran out of the shop and yelled to two young girls aged eight and 14: “You Jews run away from here before I kill you.”
Police arrested the man at a nearby address a hour after being called to the scene near Stamford Hill, which has a large orthodox Jewish community. .. a 61-year-old man who has been arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
Photographs showed the man, who was wearing a white hooded top and light blue trousers, brandishing what was thought to be a meat cleaver and a long, thin knife.
One social media user, Shulem Stern, who helps run a neighbourhood watch scheme in the area, reported on his Twitter page: “Man with meat cleaver & large knife threatened a young Jewish girl in Upper Clapton [shouting] ‘you Jews run away from here before I kill you’." He added: "Suspect who threatened Jews with meat cleaver and large knife in Upper Clapton has just been arrested by Police."
Local police in Hackney urged people in the area not to distract them as they dealt with the incident, which happened at just after 4pm on Tuesday. Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch group in Stamford Hill, received multiple calls by alarmed witnesses as the incident unfolded.
Twitter users and newspaper readers are pondering why his face has been blanked out in the CCTV photographs. One thing I am sure of - he is either a neo-nazi or he has mental health problems, has never, ever, been seen at one of the several (inc Turkish) local mosques, and is a quiet man who loved his mother. We might find out more if the case comes to court.
Update Wednesday morning. The woman who runs the Hackney Hive, a community website has managed to get hold of a bit of the CCTV moving film here where the man's face isn't so obscured. He seems to be highly intoxicated, and more answers the description of a 61 year old white man, than he did in the still photograph. Whoever he is he needs to be off the streets for a very long time; that meat cleaver is no joke.
Did you say Turkish mosque? Case solved.