Justin Davenport, Crime Editor
23 Nov 2011
A man dressed as a cowboy – complete with Stetson hat and toy pistol – was Tasered by armed police after reports that he was carrying a gun, it emerged today.
Officers used the 50,000-volt stun gun to disable the 34-year-old after he got on a train in Norwood Junction dressed in the unusual costume.
One witness, who did not want to be named, said the man was wearing an outfit which looked like Kiefer Sutherland’s character Doc in the Young Guns movie, in which he wears a trench coat and cowboy hat.
“He was just sitting on the train singing away and didn’t look like he would harm a fly, but obviously someone had seen a toy gun in his waistband and reported it.” Another witness, Harold Gerber, 47, said: “He was quietly singing to himself and wearing a cowboy hat and a long trench coat. I didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.”
Police said officers were called to the station after reports that a man was armed with a handgun and behaving strangely, shouting and scaring passengers on the platform.
A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: “We were called to Norwood Junction on November 15 after a report of a man with a firearm.
“Armed officers from the Met Tasered the man because they thought he had a gun.”
The man was later detained under the Mental Health Act and remains in hospital.
It comes as Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe called for all police cars in London to carry Tasers in case of danger.