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Wednesday, 01 August 2018

Man with alleged mental health problems attacks children at play centre

Written by Dave Higgens

A number of children were among people hurt when a man stormed through a children's play centre, attacking customers, before jumping from a balcony.

The owner of The Alphabet Zoo, in Bradford, said none of his customers who were caught up in the incident on Tuesday afternoon needed hospital treatment but it was terrifying for everyone involved.

Ashiq Hussain said he has been told the man involved, who was more seriously injured when he jumped from a mezzanine floor, had mental health problems.

Mr Hussain said he believes the man was being escorted by police along the road outside his building when he broke free from officers.

He said: "He's climbed over the secure door area, we don't let people through there without being allowed by staff, and he's run through the centre pushing children and adults out of the way.

"He's gone onto the first floor and, whilst he was going up there, he attacked a couple of customers, grabbing them by the throat and slapping them."

Mr Hussain said the police followed the man into the centre and tried to stop him but he broke free and jumped over the balcony crashing down into a fence which hit customers with children below.

He said: "It was scary. It's a safe place and people were enjoying themselves when this man comes tearing through with the police right behind him."

Mr Hussain said the man who fell from the balcony was unconscious and treated to by paramedics and police.

West Yorkshire Police said the incident at the Cemetery Road centre at about 4.30pm involved one adult male and there were "no suspects outstanding".

But a spokesman said he could not confirm any details of the incident, including injuries.

The Alphabet Zoo posted a message on its Facebook page which said: "Due to major incident, The Alphabet Zoo is currently closed, but we will reopen as soon as we can.

"It is following an incident inside the play centre which meant we needed to close.

"Police cordon has been placed inside the alphabet zoo and are investigating."

It said: "We understand that this is our one of the busiest month as schools are out, with long queues a regular sight, especially around afternoon & evening season, we apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your understanding."

Alphabet Zoo is a play area for under-12s which boasts "a huge 3 tier gigantic multi-level play structure and ball pool" as well as go-karts, a football hall and a dedicated area for babies and toddlers.

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