Second arrest following Wath knifeman and vigilante incidents — as police urge public: “Let us do our job”

A SECOND arrest has been made as a police investigation continues into reports of a man threatening people with a knife earlier this week in Wath — which is thought to have provoked a vigilante attack.

Members of the public are believed to have taken “the law into their own hands”, leaving a man in hospital with multiple fractures to one leg.

A 41-year-old man from Rotherham was arrested yesterday in connection with the attack and remains in police custody for questioning on suspicion of violent disorder and assault.

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Police are now appealing to the public “to allow us to do our job and continue our investigation without adding further unhelpful speculation.”

A 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray after the original knife-threat incident, and remains in custody, with police saying nobody else is being sought

Posts were made on social media on Wednesday by concerned parents saying that they had been asked to collect their children from Highfield Farm Primary School and Wath Central primaries as there had been “a substantial threat of a man saying he’s going to stab children in the area.” 

Jude Gray, head teacher at Wath Central, confirmed yesterday that after liaising with the police, parents and carers had been told pupils attending the affected schools must be collected by a responsible adult on Wednesday and operated “protective close of school day routine” again yesterday, while looking to “revert to a typical operational status” today.

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Extra high visibility patrols are continuing over the coming days in Wath. 

Officers also received a report that a woman had been stabbed on Wednesday at around 5.35pm, but, after speaking to the complainant and following a number of enquiries, concluded “no such incident has occurred”. 

At about 7.30pm the same evening, “significant disorder” broke out at an address in Wath Road, Brampton-Bierlow, when members of the community “appeared to take the law into their own hands”.

A man was taken to hospital after suffering multiple fractures to one leg with an investigation ongoing and the 41-year old arrested yesterday afternoon in connection with the attack.

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Supt Andy Wright said: “We understand how concerning the reports from Wath over the past few days have been for members of the local community. 

“We have been working at pace, around the clock, to build up a true picture of what has taken place, while maintaining an ongoing, high visibility police presence to provide assurance.

“The speculation around this incident has been huge and we know a large amount of false information has circulated on social media and within the community. 

“This has led to enormous concern and, indeed, harm when members of the community appeared to take the law into their own hands.

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“We are confident that the further incidents reported to us have been investigated and that there are no further suspects for us to locate.

“I would now appeal to the community to allow us to do our job and continue our investigation without adding further unhelpful speculation. 

“We will provide further details and updates as soon as we possibly can.

“Extra patrols are continuing in the community tonight and over the coming days to provide reassurance and ensure local people feel safe. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to speak to our officers. They are there to help.

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“We are keen to hear from anyone who has information that can assist with our enquiries, and are particularly interested to identify witnesses to the incident on Wath Road. 

“If you believe you can help please get in touch.”

Information or related footage about the investigation can be submitted through the police’s online portal or shared by calling 101 with the incident number 527 of June 14.


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