Bunbury siege: Man arrested after 12 hour hostage situation

Police have arrested the man responsible for a 12-hour hostage situation in Bunbury overnight from Thursday to Friday.

David Charles Batty was revealed as the man behind the siege and has been remanded in custody to appear in court in seven days time.

Mr Batty took the owner of a Bunbury laundromat hostage just after 6pm on Thursday, sparking a siege situation at Lucianna Park on the Leschenault Inlet.

He claimed to have explosives strapped to him and sat in front of the hostage until early Friday morning until police were able to negotiate the hostage's freedom.

Following this the police fired two non-lethal rounds before swarming and arresting the hostage-taker.

Police are delighted with successful resolution of a hostage situation in Bunbury overnight and have thanked the community for their assistance during the incident.

Inspector Geoff Stewart from the South West District Office said the community's assistance and understanding were vital in helping police defuse a potentially dangerous situation.

The Bunbury siege was similar to another incident also perpetrated by Mr Batty in Kings Park in Perth in 2012 following which he was charged with several offences including aggravated assault with intent to commit a crime, attempting to cause an explosion with intent to destroy or damage property, and deprivation of liberty.

Mr Batty was placed in Graylands Hospital's maximum-security Frankland Centre after that incident however, he escaped last year which sparked a political discussion over the security of mental health patients in Western Australia.

This has seen the Opposition police spokeswoman, and former Justice Minister, Michelle Roberts slam the government for not catching Mr Batty earlier and preventing the situation.

You can read all of our rolling coverage of the Bunbury siege below, from Thursday evening right through until Friday afternoon.

4:15pm: Opposition police spokeswoman Michelle Roberts, the former Justice Minister, has slammed the government for not earlier catching the escapee who allegedly took a man hostage in Bunbury overnight.

Ms Roberts, who was the Justice Minister when nine prisoners broke out of a West Australian court in 2004, has criticised the government for not preventing the situation.

Opposition police spokeswoman Michelle Roberts outside Parliament on Friday. Photo: James Mooney.

Opposition police spokeswoman Michelle Roberts outside Parliament on Friday. Photo: James Mooney.

3:45pm: David Charles Batty, the man at centre of alleged Bunbury hostage standoff, has been remanded in custody to appear in court in seven days time.

Mr Batty appeared in Perth Magistrate's Court via video link from Bunbury and charges from a similar siege in Kings Park in 2012.

The court was told Mr Batty had been using laundromat from 12-6pm on Thursday before he took owner for a ride and then made him his hostage.

The court was also told the man taken hostage is suffering from hypothermia and is highly traumatized by the incident.

David Charles Batty. Photo: Crimestoppers.

David Charles Batty. Photo: Crimestoppers.

1:45pm: Police are delighted with successful resolution of a hostage situation in Bunbury overnight and have thanked the community for their assistance during the incident.

Inspector Geoff Stewart from the South West District Office spoke to media on Friday outside the Bunbury Police Station. Photo: Tim Carrier.

Inspector Geoff Stewart from the South West District Office spoke to media on Friday outside the Bunbury Police Station. Photo: Tim Carrier.

Inspector Geoff Stewart from the South West District Office said the community's assistance and understanding were vital in helping police defuse a potentially dangerous situation.

"I would like to thank the Bunbury community for their patience and understanding at what occurred and re-assure them that the situation has been fully resolved," he said.

"Everyone listened to what they were told and what they had to do and it caused relatively minor disruptions.

"Our thanks go out to everyone."

Police have thanked the community for their assistance in helping to resolve a hostage situation in Bunbury overnight. Photo: Ashley Pearce/Bunbury Mail.

Police have thanked the community for their assistance in helping to resolve a hostage situation in Bunbury overnight. Photo: Ashley Pearce/Bunbury Mail.

10:30am: Commander Alf Fordham spoke to media in Perth following the incident. 

Here's a transcript of what he said.

9:30am: WA Police have taken to Twitter to thank residences for their patience and support during the siege.

9:00am: The man at the centre of the Bunbury siege is believed to be escaped Graylands Psychiatric Hospital patient David Charles Batty.

Mr Batty, 52 was involved in a similar situation in Perth in 2012 before absconding from Graylands Hospital on June 19, 2014.

His escape sparked political discussion over the security of mental health patients in Western Australia which will be reignited following this incident.

7.50am: A second police press conference has revealed that the hostage has been returned to his family and is receiving medical treatment. 

Police have refused to give any details about the offender's identity and will not confirm if he was armed or had any explosive material on him. 

They have confirmed that the hostage was released by the offender as a result of police negotiations with him. 

The scene of the siege in Bunbury has now been cleared as safe for the wider community. 

7.03am: Police have arrested the 52-year-old man responsible for a 12-hour hostage situation on the bank of the Leschenault Inlet. 

He appeared to fall to the ground after the gunfire but the Mail understands he was shot with non-lethal bullets. 

He is now in the back of an armoured vehicle. 

Police have confirmed that both men are in a stable physical condition. 

6.57: Armoured vehicles are approaching the man with police walking alongside, ordering him to get down. 

Two gunshots have been heard. 

Police are shouting "Do what I tell you, do you understand?"

The man is still standing and walking towards police, refusing to get down on the ground. 

6.53: The man at the centre of a 12-hour siege is still yelling out to police, unwilling to hand himself in even though his hostage has been released. 

6.38am: The hostage has taken his shirt off and walked with his hands above his head towards police. 

He is being taken into a waiting ambulance. 

The hostage taker is still sitting next to his sign. 

6.15am: The police press conference is underway in Perth, revealing that police don't believe the hostage is known to his captor. 

They have said the 52-year-old man, who is known to police, took another man captive and drove him to the Leschenault Inlet foreshore just before 6pm last night. 

Police say they are comfortable this is not a terrorism-related incident and that the hostage taker is acting alone. 

6am: The banner displaying the demands of the hostage taker has been re-erected and has been turned towards the city centre and the media pack on Pat Usher Foreshore. 

Early morning walkers have started arriving near the scene but police have put out an urgent warning that everyone should stay away from the area. 

5.10am: The robot has been deployed to deliver a communication device to the man in the hope that authorities will be able to reason with him. 

A press conference will be held at the Maylands Police Complex at 6am today. 

5am: Authorities have told the hostage taker they will deliver him something via a robotic device. 

A second armoured car is approaching which will deploy the robot. 

The man is now waving his sign around, which he half took down earlier this morning. 

3.52am: Armoured vehicles have moved in towards the hostage situation. 

Authorities are talking over a loudspeaker to the hostage taker. 

Reporters can hear a female voice saying, "The time has come. You have a family to go home to."

"We are well aware of what's happened, no one needs to get hurt."

"Think about the family."

Guests at the Mantra Hotel have heard the hostage taker trying to explain to police why he has carried out the incident. 

The negotiator said authorities know why and will look into it, but "enough is enough, it's time to end this peacefully."

3.46am: After a period of silence, the yelling has started up again. 

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the apparent temperature in Bunbury was 9.8 degrees at 3.30am. 

3.11am: The hostage taker has stood up with his hands in the air behind the sign, appearing to be surrendering to authorities. 

Both the hostage taker and his hostage have walked out from behind the sign before sitting back down on the ground. 

The man appears to be using his hostage as a human shield. 

No movement from authorities as yet. 

2.50am: Reporters are hearing yelling and movement from the hostage situation after hours of silence. 

They believe the yelling sounds like negotiations between the man and police. 

The hostage taker can be seen on his knees behind the sign he erected hours earlier. 

Police officers have been seen running across the area but have not moved in on the hostage and captor yet. 

2.15am: WA Police have confirmed they were called to the scene at Lucianna Park on the Leschenault Inlet at 6.20pm yesterday, Thursday July 16 - which means they have been working to resolve the situation for nearly eight hours. 

The area remains closed off from the public as local police and specialist officers from Perth continue to work to resolve the matter peacefully.

Police have thanked the local community for their ongoing cooperation.

1.46am: Reporters and camera crews are struggling to stay warm at the Pat Usher Foreshore on the Leschenault Inlet. 

Some have been reporting the ongoing siege situation for about six hours now and people following the reports are wondering how the two people at the centre of the incident are coping with the cold winter night. 

There has been very little movement for hours now but police still have roads blocked to traffic. 

12.03am: People across Bunbury and the rest of the country are waiting anxiously for an outcome as the Tactical Response Group works to control a siege situation near the city's CBD. 

Bunbury woman Kiandra Sproule was working in Three Monkeys Bar on Victoria Street earlier tonight when she heard an unusual low rumble. 

Ms Sproule walked out the side door of the building to find the Tactical Response Group using the car park to prepare themselves for action. 

"They were right there loading magazines into their rifles and equipping themselves with radio gear and discussing tactics and stuff - super intense," she told the Mail. 

Ms Sproule said she was told no one was to leave the building until further notice. 

The group of about 10 then piled into their armoured vehicles and drove off towards Koombana Drive. 

WA Police have advised that Koombana Drive and part of Blair Street remain closed until further notice. 

Motorists are urged to avoid these routes. 

11.46pm: Mantra Hotel guests and nearby residents have not been evacuated from their homes because police believe there is no threat to public safety. 

However, no traffic or pedestrians should approach the area while the response team works to bring the situation under control.  

11.03pm: WA Police have confirmed that they know the identity of the man at the centre of the Bunbury siege, who is believed to have explosives strapped to his body and has taken one person hostage. 

10.40pm: The public have been pushed back towards the Graham Bricknell Shell and the media have been asked to relocate to Pat Usher Foreshore as the exclusion zone continues to grow. 

A media conference is expected to take place shortly. 

10.17pm: Reporters on the scene say the man at the centre of the Bunbury siege has stood up and is pacing around near his victim, who is still laying on the ground. 

The armoured cars look ready to move in at any moment. 

9.54pm: Two armoured police cars look to be moving into position to approach the hostage situation. 

Heavily armed officers have moved the media pack away from the inlet car park to the median strip on Blair Street in front of the Bunbury Grand Cinemas. 

The public exclusion zone has been increased and police are moving to surround the hostage situation from near the Mantra Hotel.

Earlier: 

DOZENS of police have assembled on the banks of the Leschenault Inlet near the Bunbury CBD as a siege situation develops. 

A sniper is locked on to a middle-aged man believed to have explosives strapped to his body, sitting cross-legged next to a younger hostage who is laying on the ground. 

The man looks to be talking on a mobile phone to police. 

The pair are next to a car and a large sign which displays the man's demands. 

The vacant land at the corner of Koombana Drive and Blair Street, across from the Bunbury Grand Cinemas, has been blocked off to the public.

A section of Koombana Drive is closed to traffic as police work to control the situation. 

Water police, the dog squad, ambulance and firefighters are also on the scene. 

It has been reported the metropolitan Tactical Response Group is on the way to the city. 

Police wearing bulletproof vests are laying on the ground about 30 metres from the hostage situation. 

Drivers and pedestrians have been urged to avoid the area. 

More details to come. 

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