An erratic driver who sparked fear in Melbourne’s CBD has been arrested after a dramatic police incident.
Heavily armed police officers, including the Critical Response Unit, swarmed the corner of Flinders Street and William Street.
Video obtained by 9News shows a silver Mazda sedan driving in circles and performing burn-outs at the intersection of Flinders Street and Swanston Street.
The man then stood up on the roof of the silver Mazda, before he was arrested by the Critical Incident Response Team and local police at the intersection of William Street.
Victoria Police Superintendent Dan Trimble said the man was not previously known to police.
“It is alleged the man got out on the roof of the car, asking for police to come and stop him,” Spt. Trimble said.
“He was dragged out of the car and was arrested.
“It didn’t appear that it was a struggle. He stopped, put his hazard lights on, and sat there for two cycles, waiting for police to arrive.”
Police confirmed they did not believe the incident was terror-related at this stage.
The man also had no weapons on him.
Witness Heba Teryaki, who asked the man if he was “okay” in the middle of the intersection, said she feared for her life when he started to drive erratically.
“I thought he was going to do the same thing as [James Gargasoulas],” she said.
Police were on high alert as the incident comes after a string of attacks in Melbourne’s CBD over the past few years.
While erratic driver Saeed Noori killed an elderly man and injured 16 others after ramming through the busy Flinders St intersection four days before Christmas in 2017.
Spt. Trimble acknowledged the community’s fear sparked by past attacks, when responding to the suggestion the erratic driving was eerily similar to the previous incidents.
He said police were “absolutely” concerned following reports of the erratic driving.
“We will have extra police out reassuring the public that they are safe to go about their business.”
A number of CBD streets were forced to close as the major police operation unfolded.
Traffic closures were in place at Flinders and King Street, Flinders Street and Market Street, Queensbridge, William Street and Flinders Street.
The roads have since re-opened.
People were asked to avoid the area, with some buildings reportedly in lockdown.
“Victoria Police is responding to an incident at Flinders and William streets in Melbourne CBD and we are asking everyone to avoid the area,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.
The incident was under control within five minutes.
The man remains in custody and will be interviewed shortly.
The car has been towed from the scene.