WARSAW, Poland (AP) – A car driving the wrong way down a street struck a policeman near the Polish president’s headquarters Tuesday before speeding off and ramming into a metal barrier protecting the driveway of the building, officials said. A man was detained at the scene.
President Andrzej Duda said it was an “astonishing” situation, but stressed that the palace is well guarded and protected.
Polish authorities said that the incident didn’t appear to be terror-related.
Warsaw police spokesman Mariusz Mrozek said the detained man remained under police surveillance while he was hospitalized due to incoherent behavior and speech. Blood tests are to determine whether the man was intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.
The crash comes a week after the mayor of the northern city of Gdansk died after being stabbed on a stage in front of thousands of people the night before by an ex-convict during a charity event. The killing stunned Poland, and raised questions about the security of public officials.
Police officers surrounded a silver Volkswagen car with a Warsaw license plate just in front of the gate to the palace Tuesday.
Police officers examine a car in the driveway to the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 after a man rammed the car into a metal barrier protecting the driveway. The man was driving the wrong way and hit a policeman who was trying to stop him before ramming into the barrier. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Mrozek said the 36-year-old man, a Pole, was driving the wrong way in downtown Warsaw and hit a policeman who was trying to stop him. Fleeing the scene, the man drove into the barrier.
The officer was hospitalized with cuts and bruises but there was no threat to his life, Mrozek said.