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Man wielded meat cleaver at officers

15 Jun 2020

A man wielded a meat cleaver towards police officers while high on cocaine in a “horrific” assault which left them scared for their lives.

Officers visited the home of Daniel Diaz-Sevilla, 47, in St Ives just before 3.30am on 23 November after his wife called police to say he was not acting normally “in any shape or form.”

Diaz-Sevilla had taken class A drugs and could be heard shouting on the 999 call. He had also tried to drag his son out of bed.

What followed was a stand-off of almost an hour which eventually resulted in his arrest.

When police arrived at the property in Adams Drive they found Diaz-Sevilla on his phone and wearing just his boxer shorts.

They took his wife and son in the sitting room to establish what had happened, but Diaz-Sevilla was intent on joining them and overpowered the officers.

He moved towards the sofa at the back of the room in a “frenzied manner” and ignored officers before pulling out a large meat cleaver.

He shouted at them to get out of the house whilst brandishing the weapon at chest height as he moved towards them. 

Officers retreated outside for their own safety and when one officer tried to run towards the door again, Diaz-Sevilla locked it.

A few moments later the door was opened by his wife but as an officer approached it, Diaz-Sevilla came running down the stairs at high speed screaming and holding the meat cleaver.

The officer tasered him, but Diaz-Sevilla continued to lash out towards them outside the door with the weapon. Attempts to disarm him also failed and officers retreated again after Diaz-Sevilla got to his feet and shut the door.

He could be seen through the panes of glass in his front door and continued making slashing motions with the meat cleaver before smashing the glass which narrowly missed officers.

Diaz-Sevilla was sprayed with PAVA but this had no effect either. He continued to shout and roam the house with the weapon in his hand.

At 3.40am Diaz-Sevilla called 999 and told the operator he was scared and wanted the police.

The operator told him police were already at his house, but he said he couldn’t speak to them and still needed “other officers.”

He was arrested just under an hour later after he spoke to a negotiator on the phone and obeyed instructions to leave the house slowly and calmly.

In police interview Diaz-Sevilla, who has no previous convictions, claimed he took drugs and started to hallucinate.

He said he worried that “fake police” had come to his house to hurt his family and admitted he had used the meat cleaver to scare them.

Diaz-Sevilla told officers he kept the weapon behind the sofa to cut up meat whilst watching TV.

He said he believed he was addicted to cocaine and added that he couldn’t remember running down the stairs with the meat cleaver or being tasered.

Diaz-Sevilla pleaded guilty to two counts of affray and three counts of assaulting an emergency worker at a previous hearing at Cambridge Crown Court.

DC Josh Coe said: “This was a horrific and traumatic incident for all involved. The officers just doing their job believed they were at risk of being seriously injured or killed, and all took time off work as a result.

“One of the officers still describes this as the worst night of her life, but she takes comfort in the fact nobody was seriously injured and explains this is exactly why she works in the job she does.

“Incidents like this highlight what officers deal with on a regular basis and also the consequences of taking class A drugs, which can devastate lives.”

Diaz-Sevilla was sentenced at the same court on Friday (12 June) where he was handed a total of 21 months in prison. He was also handed a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting his wife.

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