Cars in Knutton High Street damaged by brick thrower in roof-top protest
A MAN was last night being questioned after pelting police officers with tiles and bricks during a roof-top protest.
Trained negotiators spent around three hours trying to persuade the man to leave his perch on top of a derelict building in High Street, Knutton, yesterday.
The man, who is in his 20s, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after eventually climbing down at 2.10pm.
Residents were told to stay indoors during the stand-off and a large stretch of the street was cordoned off.
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A number of cars were damaged in the incident but it is not thought anyone was hurt.
Witnesses say the man scaled the building at around 11am and threatened to throw himself off after a row with his partner.
Shop owner Bill Smith, of Lawson Terrace, was told to stay indoors as officers with protective equipment descended on the area.
The 53-year-old, who runs W Smith and Son, said: "The first I knew that something was going on was when I heard loud bangs outside. I could see there was someone on the roof and there were tiles smashing down everywhere on to the ground.
"I was stuck in my shop and no-one could get out."
Bargain Booze and a nearby corner shop were forced to close for several hours as no shoppers could access the road.
And motorists were turned back while High Street was closed in both directions between the Lower Milehouse Lane junction and the Peake Street junction.
Mr Smith added: "We had to close the shop at 11am because no-one could access the shop so there was no point. We have lost nearly a whole day's trade because of this."
A resident of Peake Street, who asked not to be named, said: "I was stuck in the car for over an hour because we were unable to get back to the house.
"We didn't know how long it was going to last, it just depended on when he felt like getting down from the roof."
Mike Fenton, headteacher of the nearby Cedars Pupil Referral Unit, said: "I find it very sad that someone in their 20s would threaten to throw themselves off the roof. I have children that age and it is not a pleasant sight. He obviously needs help."
Mr Fenton said the road closure affected a number of pupils who attend the unit as they left for the day.
He added: "We finish at around 2pm so a lot of our minors were affected by the road closure when they had finished.
"It is a troubling sight but I was pleased with the way they dealt with it."
Inspector Andrew Shackleton, from Staffordshire Police who attended the incident, said: "A number of vehicles have been damaged but he came down after negotiations.
"The main concern that we had was public safety and that is why we had to close the network of roads.
"Police would like to thank businesses and local residents for their patience during the incident."