Tyrone chainsaw siege sees police swarm village
Dozens of police stormed into a normally sleepy village yesterday morning after reports a man armed with a chainsaw barricaded himself inside his garden shed.
The man gained notoriety last year after cutting off his own toe with a hammer and chisel.
The incident began shortly after 2am and lasted seven hours.
One resident of Main Street in Trillick, Tyrone, a few doors down from the siege, said she awoke just after 2.30am after she heard a man allegedly threatening several people.
“I heard him shouting all sorts of abuse,” she claimed. “He was threatening several people but I did not see anything. Even though I could not get back to sleep I did not want to get up.”
Police were called to the house after a domestic incident.
Reports said the man, named locally as Mervyn Mills, began shouting abuse in the middle of the street before allegedly making threats against residents.
When the exchanges became heated, the man allegedly armed himself with a chainsaw then barricaded himself in his garden shed and threatened to self-harm.
Armed police and trained negotiators were deployed to the scene.
The operation, which reportedly involved dozens of emergency service personnel, forced the closure of the main road in Trillick for most of the early morning.
The woman said she was shocked at the number of police.
“There seemed to be a lot of squad cars about, I couldn’t be
lieve it,” she said. “I had heard he was threatening to set himself on fire and the fire service had to connect a hose pipe from across the road in case. It was terrible.”
She added: “I just feel so sorry for the family.”
Last year Mr Mills made the headlines after he chopped off his toe with a hammer and chisel.
The ex-UDR soldier told the Ulster Herald he had become frustrated with a gangrenous toe, and took matters into his own hands.
A PSNI spokeswoman said police were called to a domestic incident at Main Street in Trillick at 2.17am yesterday.
“It is understood a female received a small wound to her neck but her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. One man was arrested at around 9am and is assisting police with inquiries.”