Angry scenes as man gatecrashes Remembrance Day service
A MAN who gatecrashed Bristol's Remembrance Sunday parade at the Cenotaph on a skateboard wearing a pink outfit and horned mask has been condemned for his actions.
There were angry scenes yesterday when the man appeared from Rupert Street and skateboarded alongside marching troops as they made their way back to College Green.
As he reached the corner of St Stephens Street at around 11.45am he was collared by a special constable who dragged him through the crowd, many of who shouted their disgust. Witnesses say several police officers then had to pin the 38-year- old local man down as he attempted to resist arrest.
Police stayed at the scene and surrounded him to protect him from a small group of men who threatened to harm him.
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Sergeant Steve Bell confirmed that the man had been arrested on suspicion of a section five public order offence. Police later said the man would be sectioned under the mental health act.
As he was bundled into a police car, police had to forcefully remove several males who approached him and shouted obscenities including "death's too good for you".
His actions have been condemned by Roger Duddridge, vice chairman of the Bristol and Somerset Royal British Legion, who organises Remembrance Sunday in Bristol.
He said: "Frankly it is disrespectful. All it will have done is irritate and upset the crowd. It puts a dampener on what it's all about.
"Perhaps his punishment should be that he is sent to Afghanistan so he can see what troops have to put up with.
"Thousands of soldiers have died over the years so he can ride his skateboard and behave like an idiot."
Witnesses at the scene described what happened.
Nick Calvert, 51, of Bradley Stoke, said: "There was a general show of disgust from the crowd because he was showing no respect. I have no idea what it was about."
Kineta Hill, 33, of Hartcliffe saw the whole incident.
She said: "He just came skating up right past the troops as they had their 'eyes right' towards the Cenotaph.
"People in the crowd were absolutely appalled by his behaviour.
"They were saying how disrespectful it was. He was getting a lot of abuse and a few people spat at him."
Ray Turton, 68, of Brislington, said: "I just don't understand what he was doing – it is so disrespectful."
Segolene Cormoreche, 21, who was visiting Bristol from France said: "The crowd was quite furious with him. Everyone was very angry that he had been so disrespectful."
Jose Paulo Da Silveria, 38, has been charged under the public order act and will appear at Bristol Magistrates Court on December 4.