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Armed police in Canterbury as man with knife drives at children at Howe Barracks

By KentOnline reporter

Armed police were called after a man waving a knife drove towards a crowd of people on an army barracks housing estate.

Officers with guns and as many as 15 patrol cars were mobilised after terrified neighbours on the Howe Barracks site in Canterbury called 999 last night.

One onlooker told how the man drove up and down the street holding the knife out of the window before driving at a man he is believed to have had an altercation with.

Police in St Stephen's Hill, Canterbury. Pic: Mark Bowden
Police in St Stephen's Hill, Canterbury. Pic: Mark Bowden

As many as 20 children in the street are said to have run as the car hurtled towards them.

One woman was at her sister’s house in St Julien Avenue when she saw two men arguing.

“One of them went home, or so we thought, but the next thing I heard a car screeching so I ran to my sister’s gate and looked outside," she said.

“I saw a man drive at high speed, stop his car and step out. He told the other guy he was going to stab him with a kitchen knife.

“The other guy pushed the man back into his car and he screeched off again.

“But he then spun the car round and drove rapidly back up the road trying to run this man and all that was around him down. There were children everywhere.

“I grabbed one girl and told her to run home. The kids were terrified.

“A lady approached him and told him to go. He sped off in a grey Honda Civic.

Armed police in St Stephen's Hill, Canterbury. Pic: Mark Bowden
Armed police in St Stephen's Hill, Canterbury. Pic: Mark Bowden

“It was terrifying. All I could think of was the children running around while this man was waving a blade.”

Another onlooker said: "It's scary to see loads of people trying to stop him. I've never seen so many people help protect their children."

It is not thought anyone was struck or hurt, although some other vehicles are thought to have been damaged.

The police helicopter was also scrambled as the knifeman sped off after reportedly crushing a child's bicycle.

Armed officers were later seen in St Stephen's Hill, Canterbury.

A police spokesman said they were called to an "altercation" in Pilcken Close, off St Julian Avenue, shortly before 7.30pm.

The incident happened in St Julien Avenue, Canterbury
The incident happened in St Julien Avenue, Canterbury

Two men have been arrested in connection with the incident but no injuries has been reported.

A 33-year-old from Canterbury was subsequently released without charge.

But a 34-year-old is now being questioned and inquiries are continuing into the circumstances.

Officers believe there were a number of people in the area at the time who may have information that can help with the investigation.

Witnesses can call the appeal line on 01843 222289, quoting reference 19-1232, or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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