Police say they know Leeds axe man's identity as manhunt continues

The collision happened on the A61 where Sheepscar Street North turns into Scott Hall Road. Picture: Google
The collision happened on the A61 where Sheepscar Street North turns into Scott Hall Road. Picture: Google

Police in Leeds say they know the identity of a man who was armed with an axe when he fled the scene of a crash this weekend.

The incident triggered a large scale manhunt and resulted in Leeds Beckett University being advised to put its Headingley campus on lockdown late on Saturday.

Students were told to say indoors as a "significant police search" got under way.

The man is thought to have been driving a van which was involved in a collision with three other vehicles at the junction of Scott Hall Road and Sheepscar Street North at about 5.30pm on Saturday.

He fled the scene in a white van and was potentially seen a short time later near the Arndale Centre in Headingley, where he is believed to have used the axe to steal a secured bicycle after abandoning the van close by.

He is then thought to have dumped the bike close to St Chad’s Rise and gone into the woods.

Supt Lisa Atkinson, of Leeds District Police, earlier said: “No one has been seriously hurt and it appears the male has only used the axe as a means of stealing the van and the bicycle, but we would urge anyone who sees this male not to approach him and to contact police on 999, so we can locate him and detain him."

As the searches continued today, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman said the man's identity was known but would not be made public at this stage.

The man was described as being white, in his thirties or forties, with a black beard and a flat cap.

He was also believed to be wearing a light coloured jacket and jeans.

Latest: Leeds police release picture of 'axe man' hunted after hit and run, crash, robbery and bike theft