Heroic neighbours wrestled a machete-wielding man to the ground after a bizarre series of suspected arson attacks on cars, a model railway and gardens in the same street in Newton Abbot. Police were called about a man armed with a knife, dressed in military style clothing and wearing a gas mask.
One of the witnesses said he was carrying an 18in machete. When police arrived neighbours were sitting on the man’s back on the ground. Nobody was injured but some of the people had to be treated for smoke inhalation. Fire crews arrived to find two cars had been set on fire. One had been put out by its owner but the second was well alight.
A model railway had also been set alight and a series of rubbish fires had been started in the garden of one of the houses. One witness said: “He had an 18in machete. The people in the street caught him and sat on him before the police got there. One of the people had put out the fire in his car. There were lots of fires in one of the gardens and there was a model railway which was set on fire.”