Erratic driver causes Melbourne lockdown
A man arrested after driving erratically down Melbourne's busy Flinders Street caused a lockdown and revived horrific memories for the city.
The 26-year-old was arrested without incident and no one was hurt, in stark contrast to the 2017 Bourke St massacre and a similar vehicle attack later that year, also on Flinders St.
After stopping his car outside Flinders St train station at the intersection with Swanston St on Wednesday afternoon, the man climbed onto the roof of a silver sedan and yelled for police to get him.
He then returned to the car and did a doughnut, repeating the actions at the same intersection of James Gargasoulas who then mowed down and killed six pedestrians in his car in Bourke St three years ago.
"Dead set I thought he was going to do exactly the same as that guy at St Paul's Cathedral (Gargasoulas) who was doing doughnuts," witness Heba Teryaki said.
The driver almost ran over Ms Teryaki, who said she approached the vehicle with her scooter "to see if he was alright".
"I followed him to get his number plates and I couldn't catch up to him," she told reporters.
Police superintendent Dan Trimble also said he was "absolutely" concerned there would be a repeat of the Gargasoulas tragedy.
But Supt Trimble said authorities did not need to use all the extra security measures put in place since the Bourke St rampage and the man was arrested without resistance.
A new Victoria Police "hostile vehicle" policy gives them the green light to ram an offending vehicle, use roadblocks, box the vehicle in or shoot the offender as a last resort.
Footage shared on social media shows police pointing guns at the man as he kneels down to be handcuffed.
"He drove down to the intersection at Flinders and William streets where he stopped, put his hazard lights on and police intercepted him at that location," Supt Trimble told reporters at the scene.
A critical incident response team helped detain the man and the bomb squad was called in to examine a backpack found in the vehicle.
The area was locked down for more than an hour as police examined the backpack which was cleared and the car towed away at about 3.30pm.
The man had no weapons on him and no-one was injured.
Supt Trimble said there were no terror links.
Trams and trains were delayed because of the incident, which lasted five minutes until the man's arrest.
No charges had been laid by Wednesday evening.
Eleven months after the Garasoulas rampage in January 2017, Saeed Noori killed a grandfather and injured 15 others when he drove his mother's SUV into pedestrians outside Flinders St station.
Gargasoulas and Noori are serving life sentences for murder.