A sword-wielding man has wreaked havoc in a Manhattan Apple Store, after threatening that he would kill himself.
The incident took place on Friday at approximately 3:55 p.m., within the walls of an Apple Store located at 767 Fifth Avenue, on the ground floor of the General Motors Building in New York City. It unfolded under the terrified eyes of several customers and staff members who had the misfortune of being there at the time.
According to 18-year old Luis Apolo, a buyer who witnessed the entire shenanigans, something appeared to be amiss when he heard a man speaking loudly to an Apple employee.
Soon afterwards, the visitor, who was later identified as 30-year old Hsu Chien, took out an object. This was initially mistaken by Apolo for a stick, but later proved to be an actual Samurai sword, with a blade measuring 2 feet in length.
The attacker then began wielding the sword threateningly, while sitting right in the middle of the staircase. He was moving the weapon in various directions, swaying it in the air, like he was fighting an imaginary enemy in a duel.
Nancy Birnbaum, a local lawyer, was also present at the scene when the strange events took place. As she recalls, Chien’s face looked “contorted and twisted”, as if he was in the midst of a psychotic incident.
She had first believed that this was just a peculiar type of performance art, but afterwards realized that the man was actually taking things a little too seriously, yelling at others and seemingly doing a countdown.
The only saving grace was that there weren’t any other customers near him, although normally the glass spiral staircase tends to be crammed with people.
Still, even if she was at a safe distance from the attacker, Birnbaum admits that she has never before experienced such great fears for her life.
At some point, she even suspected this might be a terrorist attack orchestrated by the ISIS, or that it could be the beginning of a gruesome mass murder guaranteed to be prominently featured in the news the following day.
In contrast, Giovanni Gabbani, a Londoner who was also in the flagship Apple store, tried to approach the man, guessing that the episode had been triggered by some emotional turmoil, which could have been surpassed by offering support and sympathy.
Indeed, as revealed by one of the Apple employees doing his shift at the time, Chien had actually threatened to commit suicide, placing the sword dangerously close to his own neck, without actually injuring himself however.
Eventually, as he was descending the stairs and getting closer to the other horror-struck people present in the shop, the man was tackled and subdued by two security guards.
NYPD law enforcement also arrived at the scene shortly afterwards, placed Chien under arrest, and transported him to Bellevue Hospital, so as to undergo psychiatric evaluation. The store remained open throughout the entire incident, which only lasted several minutes.
As police officers have announced, the would-be samurai has been accused of menacing and criminal weapon possession.
Luckily, no one was injured in the attack, but those moments were surely among the most chilling that the shoppers have ever lived.
Image Source: Metro.co.uk