Police fire warning shots, arrest angry man outside Dutch parliament

Angry man arrested on the Binnenhof in The Hague, 5 Jan 2017
Angry man arrested on the Binnenhof in The Hague, 5 Jan 2017. (Photo: @pvalstar / Twitter)

A mentally disturbed man caused havoc on the Dutch government complex the Binnenhof in The Hague on Thursday afternoon. He threw a bag at the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, from the square in front of it. The square was evacuated, surrounding streets were closed down for several hours and warning shots were fired before the man was finally arrested, the Telegraaf reports.

According to the newspaper, the 59-year-old man was at a police station earlier on Thursday to complain about his welfare benefit that was either too low or not paid. The police sent him away. Later he showed up at the Binnenhof. 

The man, from The Hague, was standing at the Tweede Kamer's main entrance, shouting and threw a bag at the building. Officers from the Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military, approached the man with their weapons drawn. They ordered him to undress, to check for explosives.

The man seemed to cooperate at first, but suddenly became aggressive. "He turned around, worked up", an eye witness said to the newspaper. "He shouted: 'Well come then!'" It took about ten minutes for the Marechaussee to work the man to the ground and arrest him. A warning shot was fired. The police initially reported that the man was injured by the shooting, but later retracted the statement. The man did have an injury on his hand, but it ws not made by a bullet. It is unclear when he sustained the injury.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team investigated the items the man had on him. According to the newspaper, there were no dangerous substances in the ba the man through at parliament.