Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever found a man in his garden on the night of Thursday to Friday, and held him at gunpoint until police arrive, it was revealed.
De Wever’s youngest daughter Liesbet heard a strange noise in the family’s garden at around 03.00 early on Friday morning. She woke her father and he went straight outside without dressing, carrying an air rifle.
In the garden he discovered an unknown man of about 40, in a confused state. De Wever held the man at gunpoint in the garden until the police arrived.
“That made an impression,” De Wever said later, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. “I shouted ‘get down on your knees, face to the ground,’ and he lay down.”
De Wever’s spokesperson explained the use of the weapon.
“He bought it legally about a year ago to protect his family after the events of recent years,” Johan Vermant said. De Wever has previously been the subject of death threats.
“The man was taken into custody,” said police spokesperson Wouter Bruyns,
“He was first taken to hospital for a checkup, then he was taken to [police headquarters] for further investigation,” he said.
As a precaution, a search warrant was also carried out at the man’s address.
Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, police said, the man will face a fine for being outside during the curfew in force in Antwerp at the time.