Woman, 75, held at knifepoint, used as shield in shopping centre stand-off

A MAN has been tasered by police after allegedly taking an elderly woman at knifepoint and using her as a human shield during a stand-off at a shopping centre in the NSW Lake Macquarie region.

Police said the 46-year-old man had purchased the 30cm carving knife from a Coles supermarket in Morisset around 2.20pm on Thursday and pressed it up against the 75-year-old woman’s back as he was leaving.

It’s alleged the man first walked into a chemist and bought a pair of scissors before purchasing the knife from Coles.


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Security cameras captured the chilling moment the man bailed the woman up at the entrance to the supermarket, refusing to let her in, before grabbing her and holding the knife to her back.

It’s understood the man held the woman hostage for up to five minutes, casually standing at the entrance to the shopping centre, all while women and children and even a police officer walked by, oblivious to the danger.

Thankfully, the female officer who had walked past moments earlier returned after being called on by terrified onlookers and approached the man, at which point he grabbed the elderly woman around the neck.

The man then allegedly threatened the woman, forcing the female officer to react and draw her firearm.

She ordered the man to drop the carving knife, but he allegedly refused, at which point the female officer called for backup and started to negotiate with him.

Additional police were quick to arrive on the scene, at which point the man let the woman go.

He continued to wield the knife, however, allegedly waving it around and threatening police as he edged closer towards the doors and inside the shopping centre.

It was then when an officer shot the man with a taser, causing him to fall to the ground.

The man was arrested and taken to Toronto Police Station where he was assessed by paramedics before being taken to John Hunter Hospital for treatment to an injury to his head.

He was later released and returned to Toronto Police Station where he was charged with going armed with intent, using a weapon to avoid apprehension, wielding a knife in a public place, affray and common assault.

The 46-year-old was refused bail in Toronto Local Court today and will re-appear next month.