A MAN in his late 30s was undergoing assessment at Cork University Hospital (CUH) last night after he allegedly stabbed a garda, stole his garda jeep and drove it to Cork Airport, where he tore off his clothes and rammed several vehicles.
The man, who is known to gardaí and is from Cork city, failed in his efforts to damage any stationary aeroplanes and was eventually stunned by a Taser gun employed by the Garda Armed Regional Support Unit.
He did, however, collide with a garda car that was trying to halt him. The garda driver was last night at CUH recovering from his injuries. The garda who was stabbed by the man was released from hospital earlier in the evening.
The incident began on St Patrick’s Street shortly before 5pm when the man, carrying a knapsack, approached a garda sitting in traffic in a traffic corps jeep, travelling in the direction of Grand Parade.
The man began to punch and assault the garda, who subsequently jumped out of the car. It’s understood the assailant was brandishing a knife and a number of screwdrivers.
The garda moved away from the assailant as he became increasingly violent and it was at that point the man hopped into the Garda jeep and drove at speed down St Patrick’s Street in the direction of St Patrick’s Bridge.
He was blocked by a bus from reaching the quays and instead sped down Maylor Street, a pedestrian walkway. Shoppers ran in all directions to avoid the driver, who then headed in the direction of Cork Airport, travelling along the South Link, ramming cars in the garda jeep as he went.
One of the cars he rammed contained a woman who was subsequently treated for minor injuries in hospital.
Upon entering the airport, the man burst through the Gate 19 barricade near the old terminal building and abandoned the jeep, ripped his own clothes off and got into a nearby airport fire services jeep.
He then drove around the apron of the airfield, indiscriminately trying to ram cars and attempting to ram aeroplanes. Five vehicles were crashed into by the man, including two garda vehicles, which were destroyed.
Witnesses say he attempted to crash into an Aer Lingus plane parked on the tarmac.
The man was arrested in his boxer shorts and taken to district headquarters at Togher Garda Station.
He was held last night under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and was due in court today.
A 12-inch knife was seized by gardaí arising out of the incident.
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