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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 August, 2003, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Golf buggy used in hostage drama
Golf buggy
Police chased the man across the golf course
Police officers used a golf buggy to reach a man who was holding an angler hostage at a County Durham beauty spot.

Officers were alerted to reports of a man trying to harm himself with razor blades in Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

When approached the 20-year-old, from Houghton-le-Spring, ran off and made his way to the Riverside area of Chester-le-Street, close the town's golf club and cricket ground.

Officers from Durham Police gave chase, but the man produced a pair of scissors and held them at the throat of an angler who was fishing on the River Wear.

Two officers commandeered a golf buggy from the club and used it to get closer to the man, who threatened to kill the angler.

Children's play area

The 31-year-old angler managed to break free and the armed man then waded into the river.

Two other officers got into the water and a human chain was used to get him out of the water.

A spokesman for Durham Police said: "Thankfully no one was hurt during the incident.

"At one point the armed man approached a children's play area, which is when the decision was made to apprehend him.

"Officers distracted the man enough so the angler could break free.

"The decision was made to use a golf buggy as the patrol car was not suitable as an off-road vehicle."

The man has been charged with hostage taking and threats to kill.

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