Half-naked man causes huge police stand-off by climbing on sign and 'throwing punches'


In a 45-minute standoff on Tuesday, crowds gathered to watch him throw punches in the air and repeatedly slap his own face while officers tried to get him down, with one local saying it looked like the man “wanted to fight someone”.

Witness Jamie Woolley shared a video to Facebook Live in a bid to point out the problems facing the centre of Hanley, one of the six towns of the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

He said: “I’d just come out of Poundland when I saw this man on the sign. He was shouting his head off but you couldn’t really make sense of what he was saying. He looked like he wanted to fight someone, or himself.

“He came down a couple of times but he kept getting back up on the sign. He seemed to really like it up there.

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“It took a while for the police to finally arrive. It was like he was taunting them. No one could really help him as he was too high up and he was really volatile. We were worried he’d hurt himself or someone else.

“The police eventually got him down and they put him in cuffs. He was then led away. It must have been about 45 minutes all in all.”

The 28-year-old added: “Sadly it’s not unusual, it’s happening all the time in Hanley at the moment.

It came after visitors at the Pottery Centre shared their discontent over what they thought had been the town’s decision to paint the iconic clock black.

Well-known for being a meeting place for friends in Hanley, locals had found it fenced off as it had been given a dark paint job.

But Richard Buxton, chief executive of Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Business Improvement District (BID), said the new look is only a temporary measure as the landmark undergoes a much-needed restoration.

Shopper Steph Watwood, from Hanley, told StokeonTrentLive: “They should keep it blue. It’s meant to be blue. You would always say ‘meet me at the blue clock’. It’s always been that colour.”

Mr Buxton promised the clock is having its dark grey undercoat completed and will then be repainted in the royal blue with gold detailing people have long known.

The makeover follows calls by shoppers late last year for the clock to be repaired as all four faces showed the wrong time.


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