A man who was taken into police custody yesterday after witnesses said he stabbed a knife into an Auckland gymnasium causing panicked members to flee, has now been charged with seven offences.
The 45-year-old Sandringham resident faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of threatening to kill two people at CityFitness St Lukes gymnasium in Mt Albert. He is also charged with two counts of assault on the same person, using both a knife and a chair as weapons, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Additionally, the man was charged with having a knife in a business premises, possessing an offensive weapon with intent to use it for an offense involving fear of violence, and intentionally damaging computer screens. CityFitness computer.
He is due to appear in Auckland District Court today.
A police spokesman said yesterday officers arrested the man that morning after a disorderly incident at St Lukes shopping center in which they received reports he had been ‘offensive to the public’ .
Although the man was quickly taken into custody, he was found to have sustained injuries and was taken to hospital for evaluation, police said.
No members of the public were injured, but witnesses described the scene to the Herald as chaotic and shocking.
A man has been accused of entering an Auckland gymnasium with a knife, scaring staff and members. Photo/Google
A man began yelling at staff shortly after 8 a.m. and was asked to leave, but returned about 30 minutes later with a knife and began pointing it at people, they said.
“We were told by the receptionist that some crazy guy came into the gym and started yelling at the staff but he’s gone now so someone probably had a bad case on Monday,” Matthew Le recalled, member of the gymnasium, of the first incident. “So we all went back to training.”
But as he left the gym soon after, getting into his car, he said he heard “everyone in the gym running full speed outside like someone was chasing them.”
“I rolled down my window and asked them what happened and they told me the same guy had come back and this time with the knife chasing everyone,” he said.
Another gym member also recalled that a man in a black hoodie showed up twice yesterday morning.
“I saw the knife in his hand as he ran towards the machines,” he said of the second incident. “I started running and told people to get out the back door.”
The man was hit by a car while fleeing the business, the witness said.