tough nut to crack

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Police and a rescue team" "worked over time" when a mentally ill patient, who had violently attacked police, jumped into Durban Harbour yesterday morning.

The 40-year-old man allegedly threw bricks and rocks at police, injuring a woman officer.

It is alleged the man had escaped from a local hospital and was running around naked.

He was allegedly first spotted walking along city streets at 4am. When confronted by police, he stoned several of their vehicles, injuring a female officer.

"Police and a rescue team chased the patient for more than an hour before the man jumped into Durban Harbour. He was extremely aggressive, even when he was in the water.

"We do not as yet know which hospital the man had escaped from," said ER24 spokesman Derrick Banks.

Captain Troy Alison, commanding the search team, said apart from running very fast, the man had been very aggressive.

"He threw bricks and rocks at police and their vehicles. He damaged some windows on several police vehicles.

"He also injured a female officer. He gave metro police who were trying to restrain him a very tough time before jumping into the harbour.

"I tried to persuade him to give himself up but he was very aggressive. We ultimately managed to restrain him and bring him to safety," he said.

The man was taken to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation, Alison added.

Meanwhile, a disabled woman is fighting for her life after she was hit by a bus at the corner of Musgrave and St Thomas roads in Durban yesterday.

It is alleged that the woman, who has still not been identified, was on her way to work.

Netcare spokesman Chris Botha said paramedics arrived at the scene and found the injured woman on the side of the road.

Botha said paramedics assessed her and found she had suffered a fracture to her right leg. She had also suffered a serious head injury.

"She was treated at the scene and stabilised before being transported to Entabeni Hospital.

"The bus driver was very apologetic when questioned by Metro police," Botha said.