A MAN tried to get police to shoot him dead by threatening them with a pair of binoculars adapted to look like a gun, a court was told yesterday.
Kyle Napier, 20, was moments from being fatally shot by an armed police officer before another disarmed him using a rubber bullet, magistrates in Leeds heard.
Napier, of Fielding Gate, Armley, Leeds, lured police to the park at about 6.30am on Wednesday by calling 999 posing as a member of the public reporting a man with a gun in Gotts Park, Armley.
He then called police asking where they were.
Robert Campbell, prosecuting, told Leeds Magistrates’ Court: “A male appeared from some bushes dressed in black clothing.
“He had his hands in a pistol grip and had what officers believed to be a firearm.”
He said the defendant pointed his hands towards police and shouted at them to drop their weapons.
The officers ordered Napier to drop his weapon and get on the ground, but he refused.
Mr Campbell added: “Officers were prepared to use lethal force.
“One of the officers shone a light in the defendant’s eyes and was about to use his weapon when another of the officers discharged a baton round.
“It hit the defendant on his hand, knocking whatever he was holding out of his hands.”
The use of the rubber bullet is believed to be the first in history by West Yorkshire Police.
After arresting him, the officers found the binoculars, snapped so they could be held like a gun.
“The defendant explained he wanted the police to attend and shoot him so that he could die,” Mr Campbell said.
Napier had earlier drunk half a bottle of whisky and climbed a block of flats but could not bring himself to jump, the court was told.
Anthony Sugare, defending, said: “The defendant would like to point out there is no criticism of the police.
“This was a cry for help.”
Napier, who is charged with possessing an imitation firearm, will appear at Leeds Crown Court next Thursday.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which was considering an investigation into Napier’s arrest, has confirmed it will not pursue the matter.