Protester douses himself in petrol


"HI guys - if I don't make it out of this alive thanks for all your support over the years - please help out *** and the kids with the future."

That's the intimidating post a man put on Facebook as he engaged in a tense standoff with police in Canberra.

After more than two hours, discussions with police negotiators caused Harry Longworth to end his protest and hand himself over on his own volition shortly after 2.40pm AEDT.

Police immediately moved to search and secure his vehicle.

A photo posted by a man who has allegedly doused himself with petrol, showing police negotiators approaching. Picture: Facebook
A photo posted by a man who has allegedly doused himself with petrol, showing police negotiators approaching. Picture: Facebook

Longworth began his protest by parking his four-wheel drive on a median strip on Anzac parade between two office buildings. A large number of police and a fire truck responded.

"It's the petrol that the nice people are most worried about," the man had posted on Facebook during the early stages of the standoff, adding that police negotiators had put on bulletproof vests before attempting to speak with him.

"Doesn't look like they're going to let me sit and do my hunger strike."

He claimed to be protesting a threat against his children and warned he was prepared to take his own life.

Police negotiators talk to man who is beside Jerry cans of fuel on Anzac Parade in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage
Police negotiators talk to man who is beside Jerry cans of fuel on Anzac Parade in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage


"Situation with an ex employee and NSW police has led to an impasse ... I have high hopes for a resolution - AFP are being very friendly," he posted in response to Facebook comments of concern.

Authorities have blocked off Anzac Parade where the man is sitting next to a vehicle with several containers of petrol.

More details will be added as they come to hand.

Station sergeant Jason Kennedy confirmed Mr Longworth had been taken back to the city police station.

The sergeant said police had been in contact with the man's family throughout the incident and that his children were safe.

No charges have been laid at this time but the sergeant said police were making inquiries into the incident.

Locator map for where the man has doused himself with petrol on Anzac Parade, Canberra. A) Where the scene is unfolding. B) Australian War Museum. C) Anzac Parade in Canberra.  Source: Google Maps
Locator map for where the man has doused himself with petrol on Anzac Parade, Canberra. A) Where the scene is unfolding. B) Australian War Museum. C) Anzac Parade in Canberra. Source: Google Maps

If you or someone you know is in need of crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp



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