Holloway Road attack: Man, 25, arrested after woman seriously hurt in "unprovoked" sword attack on north London street

Hunting knives, gas mask, crossbow and mallet: Terrifying haul of weapons 'found on man who attacked woman in the street with 2ft-long samurai sword'
Woman is seriously hurt in random sword attack in north London early this morningA man was found at the scene with swords, a cross bow, hunting knives and a gas maskThe 25-year-old is currently being questioned by detectivesPolice today praised a lone officer who bravely tackled the man
Local residents described hearing the woman scream 'like an animal'

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UPDATED:

17:58 GMT, 24 December 2012

A man armed with a Samurai sword, a cross bow and several hunting knives has been arrested after a woman was seriously hurt in a random street attack this morning.

Residents living close to the scene in Holloway Road, north London, described hearing the woman screaming 'like an animal' as she was slashed repeatedly with a two foot long sword.

A lone policeman bravely stepped in and tackled the man while the 22-year-old woman lay bleeding heavily on the floor following the attack.

The sergeant tackled the man and escaped unhurt despite his best efforts to attack the policeman with the sword.

Horror attack: A police picture of the samurai-type sword used to attack a 22-year-old woman in Holloway Road, north London early this morning. A 25-year-old man is being questioned by police this evening

Horror attack: A police picture of the samurai-type sword used to attack a 22-year-old woman in Holloway Road, north London early this morning. A 25-year-old man is being questioned by police this evening

Weapons: A staggering array of weapons including hunting knives, a cross bow, samurai-type swords and a gas mask were found in a bag carried by the attacker

Weapons: A staggering array of weapons including hunting knives, a cross bow, samurai-type swords and a gas mask were found in a bag carried by the attacker

The man, who is currently being questioned by police, was found with a bag containing a staggering armoury of weapons including a cross bow, Samurai type swords, knives and a gas mask.

His alleged victim, who suffered stab wounds to the legs arms and face is said to be in a serious but not life threatening condition in hospital.

Local resident Steven Oltay, 19, said he thought he heard the attack take place from his flat nearby.

He said: 'I was woken up last night by a woman screaming.

'Horrific screams, like an animal.

'I thought it was someone being murdered and almost ran out but decided against it.'

Police have praised the quick thinking sergeant for his bravery in tackling the armed man.

Police were called to the scene close to the junction with Mercer Road just before 12.40am.

When the sergeant reached the scene he spotted the 25-year-old man wielding the sword close to the woman who was injured on the floor.

He asked the attacker to put the weapon down, but the man turned on him giving chase, before he was eventually tackled and arrested.

The victim's family are said to have rushed to be at her side in hospital from Italy.

The scene was still cordoned off by police tonight.

Police cordon: The scene on Holloway Road close to the junction with Mercers Road was still closed off by police this evening

Police cordon: The scene on Holloway Road close to the junction with Mercers Road was still closed off by police this evening

Scene of the crime: The attack happened in Holloway Road, close to the junction with Mercers Road shortly after midnight

Scene of the crime: The attack happened in Holloway Road, close to the junction with Mercers Road shortly after midnight

Two police cars and a number of officers were also at the scene.

Detective Superintendent Steve Wallace said: 'This was a vicious unprovoked stranger attack on a defenceless woman and if it had not been for the officers bravery and quick thinking the woman and other members of the public could have been killed.

'It takes a very brave officer to tackle a man who you know wants to inflict serious injuries to you with a samurai sword.

'Courage such as this is above and beyond the call of duty and I can't commend the officer highly enough.

'The fact that the officer was unarmed and alone when he tackled the man only underlines his bravery.

'He recognised the threat posed by this man and in a conscious act, positioned himself between the suspect and the public to prevent anyone else being seriously injured.

'Thankfully, this type of incident is rare in London but the public should be reassured that our officers are willing to put themselves in danger to protect the public.'