A man tried to get cops to shoot him dead – by threatening them with a pair of binoculars adapted to look like a gun.
Kyle Napier, 20, was moments from being fatally shot by an armed police officer before another disarmed him using a rubber bullet, Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday. (Oct 25)
Napier, of Fielding Gate, Armley, lured police to the park at about 6.30am on Wednesday by calling 999 posing as a member of the public reporting a man with a gun in Gotts Park, Armley.
He then called police asking where they were.
Robert Campbell, prosecuting, said: “A male appeared from some bushes dressed in black clothing. He had his hands in a pistol grip and had what officers believed to be a firearm. The defendant pointed his hands towards police and shouted ‘drop your f***ing weapons’.”
The officers ordered Napier to drop his weapon and get on the ground, but he refused.
Mr Campbell added: “Officers were prepared to use lethal force. One of the officers shone a light in the defendant’s eyes and was about to use his weapon when another of the officers discharged a baton round.
“It hit the defendant on his hand, knocking whatever he was holding out of his hands.”
As reported in yesterday’s YEP, the use of the rubber bullet was thought to be the first in history by West Yorkshire Police.
After arresting him, the officers found the binoculars, snapped so they could be held like a gun.
“The defendant explained he wanted the police to attend and shoot him so that he could die,” Mr Campbell said.
Napier had ealier drunk half a bottle of whisky and climbed a block of flats but couldn’t bring himself to jump, the court heard.
Anthony Sugare, defending, said: “The defendant would like to point out there is no criticism of the police. This was a cry for help.”
Napier, who is charged with possessing an imitation firearm, will appear at Leeds Crown Court on November 1.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which was considering an investigation into Napier’s arrest, has confirmed it will not pursue the matter.