Man charged with fire at cathedral, armed robbery, assault
Update 10.30pm: A MAN has been charged over multiple serious offences across the state this week, including deliberately setting fire to a cathedral in Lismore.
NSW Police confirmed that about 4.15pm on Monday, September 14, a 20-year-old woman was approached by a man in a car park on Canal Street at Griffith.
It's alleged the man threatened the woman with a knife before demanding she give him the car keys. He fled the area in her Volkswagen Polo, along with her handbag containing personal items.
The woman, who wasn't injured, contacted police and officers from Murrumbidgee Police District attended and commenced inquiries.
Following the carjacking, it's alleged the man committed further theft and fraud offences in both the Griffith and Dubbo regions.
On Tuesday, September 15, a 23-year-old woman was approached by a man outside a shopping centre at Hornsby.
The man threatened the girl with a large knife, demanding she hand over her cash. The girl managed to flee, and the man left empty-handed.
About 6.30am on Friday, September 18, police responded to a large fire at a cathedral in Lismore.
Multiple fire crews managed to extinguish the blaze, which is alleged to have been deliberately lit.
Detectives from Richmond Police District commenced an investigation into the fire and, following inquiries, determined that all four incidents were allegedly linked.
Following further inquiries, detectives located and arrested a 45-year-old man in Magellan Street at Lismore about 10.45am today Saturday, September 19.
A taser was used to subdue the man after he allegedly threatened officers with a large knife.
The man was taken to Lismore Police Station where he has since been charged with damage property by fire, use offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, robbery armed with offensive weapon, assault with intent to rob armed with offensive weapon (x2), dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception (x2), and larceny.
He was bail refused to appear at Lismore Bail Court tomorrow Sunday .
Update 7pm: POLICE have confirmed a man they arrested in Lismore on Saturday morning after he threatened them with a knife is facing charges regarding a fire at a landmark church on Friday.
Richmond Police District Inspector David Vandergriend confirmed the man who allegedly threatened police with a knife and had had to be tasered is assisting them with their enquiries into a number of matters.
"The person we charged with starting the fire at the St Carthage's Cathedral on Friday is a man aged 45, whom police arrested in Lismore this morning," Insp Vandergriend said.
"He is also being interviewed over other serious offences he is alleged to have committed in NSW including armed robberies, carjacking and fraud."
Update 6.30pm: The man arrested today by police in Lismore CBD is the suspect of yesterday's fire at St Carthage's Cathedral Lismore.
The Most Reverend Gregory Homeming OCD, Bishop of Lismore, thanked the officers of Richmond Police District for swiftly arresting the suspect in the yesterday's fire at St Carthage's Cathedral Lismore.
Bishop Homeming praised the work of police and other emergency services as well as Cathedral staff, and was heartened by the messages of support he has received since the fire broke out.
"In addition to the officers of Lismore Police Station I want to thank NSW Fire and Rescue Alstonville, Ballina, Casino, Coraki, Goonellabah and Lismore, Queensland Fire and Rescue Gold Coast, and NSW Ambulance for their combined efforts in saving the Cathedral," Bishop Homeming said.
"The safety of parishioners, our priests and parish staff is our primary concern," Bishop Homeming said.
"Beyond that, however, I do not wish to make any further comment as the matter is now in the hands of the Police"
Weekend Mass will continue to be celebrated in the adjacent St Mary's Chapel at 5.30pm Saturday, and 9am and 11am Sunday.
Seating capacity is limited to 85 persons to allow for social distancing.
The man is believed to be the same person NSW Police called as missing yesterday, who also sent a number of messages to media outlets confirming he had provoked the fire at the cathedral.
UPDATE 2PM: POLICE said drawing a weapon is "last resort" when it comes to dealing with being threatened by a knife after a man was tasered in Lismore earlier today.
Richmond Police District Acting Inspector Anthony Smith said the safe arrest of a man who pulled a knife on officers whom they approached after recognising him having been reported as missing by his family was a good result.
"I was driving along Magellan St on patrol when I recognised him," Act Insp Smith said.
"About 10.40am today we noticed a 45-year-old man whom we had concerns for his well-being he been listed as missing.
"After we approached him, he produced a knife and he threatened to stab us and hurt us.
Act Insp Smith said a perimeter was established, he was spoken to at gunpoint and then a number of tactical methods were used to make a safe arrest.
He said five officers surrounded the man and he was safely arrested after officers used pepper spray and a taser.
"Producing a firearm is a last result for police, but sometimes there's a need when you have to use but today was not the day," Act Insp Smith said..
"It was a great response by the officers, considering the potential of serious harm to police and the public an arrest without injury is a good result.
"The man has been medically assessed by ambulance and is currently being charged and his family have been informed."
He said the man is expected to be bail-refused and will face Lismore Court tomorrow.
Original story: A MAN has been arrested by police after being tasered in Lismore CBD this morning.
The incident happened earlier today in Magellan St, near the corner with Molesworth St.
A NSW Police spokeswoman confirmed officers observed a man reported as missing on Magellan St about 10.40am today.
"Officers from Richmond Police District attempted to speak to him, when he allegedly armed himself with a knife and threatened them," she said.
"A perimeter was established, and police deployed a taser, before arresting the man and seizing the knife."
He has been taken to Lismore Police Station where he is expected to be charged.
Shop owner Alwaan Abdel confirmed the man had a knife, as the incident happened just outside his homewares shop, Alwaan's Eastern Exotics.
"It all happened very fast, but police did a great job keeping control of the situation, it was all very fast but they handled really well," he said.
Mr Abdel said some of his homewares were destroyed during the incident outside his shop.
"You don't expect to see something like this on a Saturday morning in Lismore," he added.