Police have arrested a man after a two-hour hostage standoff at a West End restaurant last night.
Dozens of Met officers surrounded the Bella Italia on Irving Street, just off Leicester Square at around 8:50pm last night after a man took a waitress hostage.
The suspect is believed to have armed himself with a knife from the kitchen before locking himself inside with the woman and a couple who were eating at the restaurant at the time. Other diners and staff managed to escape.
Reports suggest the man was a restaurant employee.
Negotiators were seen talking to the man through a letterbox, and the standoff lasted almost two hours. He was eventually arrested just after 10:30pm. No one was injured in the incident.
Ok so apparently opposite where I'm standing for bus is a hostage situation in Bella Italia pic.twitter.com/PVlJzTuUVB— Sara B (@TheTheatreFox) February 24, 2016
A police spokesman told City A.M. that officers were called to the restaurant after receiving reports "of man holding a woman against her will.
"It was reported that the man intimated he was in possession of a knife. Two other people were also reported to be inside the venue.
"Officers, including firearms officers attended the scene and engaged with the man to resolve the situation.
"At around 22:35hrs a 39-year-old man was arrested by officers for false imprisonment and taken to a central London police station where he remains in custody."
"Detectives from Westminster CID are investigating. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident."