The Slovenia Times

Knife-wielding man apprehended in Ljubljana

Police at the scene negotiating with a man threatening people with two knives. Photo: STA

Special tasks police were deployed at busy area in the centre of Ljubljana on 13 March to subdue a young man who was threatening people with two knives.

Police received a tip-off at around 3pm that a man holding a knife in each of his hands was threatening passers-by next to a busy bus stop at Bavarski Dvor, along what is Ljubljana's main thoroughfare.

Several police patrols arrived at the scene, cordoning off the area, surrounding the man and trying to talk him into surrendering but he would not cooperate, so riot police with a police negotiator arrived at the scene.

Inspector Željko Car from the Uniformed Police Division identified the man as a 23-year-old from the Ljubljana area who was involved in a similar incident in 2020.

Video footage shot at the scene showed the man, who wore a visor over his face and carried a backpack, directing the knives at the police, shouting at them and threatening them.

The riot police tried to subdue him with a taser twice, but it did not work. The 23-year-old only let go of the knives after about an hour when a relative of his arrived at the scene.

The police took control of him and in the process an officer sustained light injuries. The man was taken away in an ambulance.

Inspector Car said it was too early to say what the man's motive was, but he was wearing a visor "in all likelihood prevent the use of a pepper spray". He is thought to have acted on his own but an investigation is ongoing.

The incident attracted a large crowd, but the police cleared the site around the man before taking action.

The surrounding streets and roads were closed off and traffic was diverted, including buses. Several passengers had to stay aboard buses while the action was ongoing and people working in nearby buildings were not allowed to leave the buildings.

The incident comes a week after the police had to use tear gas against an armed man in Brežice in the east of the country who barricaded himself into his house after he fired shots in front of a pharmacy and later at police officers.

The 59-year-old, allegedly a retired police officer, initially threatened customers at the pharmacy, forcing them out. Barricaded at his house, he fired several shots in the direction of police vehicles, damaging them before surrendering after hours of stand-off.

No one was injured but nearby residents had to be evacuated as a precaution. The police found he was in possession of several long-barrelled hunting weapons, shotguns and a pistol.


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