herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Crazed bomb-threat dad holds teenage daughter in siege terror

A FATHER who claims to be carrying a bomb was today holed up in a Sydney lawyer's office with his teenage daughter as a tense stand-off continues.

The man, in his 50s, claims to have explosives in his backpack.

Australian broadcasters showed footage of the man looking from a second-floor window shirtless and wearing the kind of wig worn by judges and lawyers in Australian courts. At one point he spat on the wig.

He later swung a glass bottle like a hammer to smash a plate-sized hole in the office window. He yelled through the hole and threw the bottle, then a telephone handset, which was left dangling by its cord.

Police said the man issued several demands but declined to reveal details, and said they had not yet established his motive.







Weapon

They evacuated the building, kept onlookers 100 yards away and were seen entering with at least one automatic weapon. Witnesses said other buildings also were evacuated.

"We're working through those demands with him and we're doing the best we can to secure a peaceful resolution," Police Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford told reporters.

"The fact that he's there and he's made certain threats is obviously of concern to us."

Mr Clifford said the girl, who was apparently in her early teens, appeared to be doing well.

"We don't believe there's any specific threat against the girl, but obviously we'd like to secure her release," he said.

"The concern is that she's in a situation where we've got somebody with a backpack -- we don't know exactly what's in that backpack so we have to assume that what he's saying is true."

Betty Hor said she was working at the reception desk at the lawyers' offices when the man approached this morning and asked to see someone she had never heard of.

The man went upstairs briefly then returned to the reception desk and repeated his request. She repeated that she had never heard of the man he was looking for.







Angry

Ms Hor, who spoke to reporters after evacuating the building, said that the man threw a book on her desk and told her to call the unknown man and the state attorney-general's department and "tell them I've got a bomb in my backpack".

Ms Hor called police as the man walked upstairs to a lawyer's office with the girl, who called him "Dad".

She said he seemed frustrated and angry. She said she had never seen him before.

hnews@herald.ie

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