Cyprus Mail

Limassol man threatens to burn welfare officials alive (Update 2)

A 30-year old man has been arrested in Limassol after pouring petrol around the premises of the welfare office in Polemidhia and threatening to burn everyone alive, police said on Wednesday.

The man arrived at the office at around 9.30am armed with a jerry can of gasoline, which he began to spread all over the protective glass separating officials from the public.

The head of the social welfare branch Katia Christodoulou told CyBC that the man was screaming to other people waiting to be served to leave because he was going to burn the employees alive.

He then reportedly grabbed chairs threw them at the surveillance cameras on the walls as well as at other electronic equipment. He then fled but was arrested a few hours later after he was identified through the CCTV footage.

According to the head of Limassol’s CID Ioannis Soteriades, the man had visited the same office the previous days asking for an increase in the allowances he receives as a single parent, and for child support, in total €800, so that he could cover the expenses of his 10-year old son as he had recently won custody from his estranged wife. The man reportedly was angered due to a delay in satisfying his requests.

The fire department was called in to clean up the gasoline.

Christodoulou said this is not the first time such incident occurred, and that their request to place guards in social welfare offices had been accepted. At the moment, she said, a tender bid was underway to buy security services.

In a second episode the Larnaca unemployment office on Wednesday, a jobless man from Oroklini, aged 34, who had submitted a benefits claims six months ago caused a fuss and was arrested over not receiving his allowance yet.

A welfare official insisted his case had been settled but he began banging his hand on the counter, CNA reported.

A second employee intervened and the unemployed man became angrier and allegedly smashed the protective glass on the counter separating the public from the employees. The man also reportedly threw a computer and printer on the floor.

Police arrested him at the scene within minutes as the welfare office is nearby.



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