Man in critical condition after being pulled from River Thames

A man who ended up in London’s River Thames after police fired a taser to detain him is in critical condition.

Police were called to the scene in Chelsea Bridge Road, west London, after receiving reports that a man was armed with a screwdriver and screaming.

The Metropolitan Police said officers arrived on the scene and challenged a man on Chelsea Bridge before unloading a taser.

Chelsea Bridge Road
The incident took place on Chelsea Bridge Road (John Stillwell/PA)

However, police said this “didn’t allow officers to hold him safely” and the man, believed to be in his forties, “then went into the river”.

A rescue operation was launched and the man was taken to safety by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The man was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Detectives are contacting the man’s family, the Met added. They are supported by specialized officers.

The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards will investigate while the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), has referred the case to them.

Detective Chief Inspector Rory Wilkinson of the Met’s Central West BCU said: “My thoughts are with this man, who is in the hospital extremely unwell. Officers are making every effort to contact his family.

“I understand that there are always concerns about incidents where people are harmed through contact with the police.

“All Met officers know they are responsible for their actions, and a full investigation is underway to determine exactly what happened.”

An IOPC spokeswoman said: “We were notified this morning by the Met Police Service of an incident at Chelsea Bridge. An independent investigation is underway. Investigators have been deployed to their post-incident procedure and the scene.”

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