WARSAW: A car driving the wrong way down a street struck a policeman near the Polish president’s headquarters Tuesday and then sped off and rammed 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, and that police were checking to determine whether the man was intoxicated.
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.
The car’s back window was broken. Warsaw police spokesman Mariusz Mrozek said that the 36-year-old man was driving the wrong way in downtown Warsaw and hit a policeman who was trying to stop him.
The officer sustained cuts and bruises. Fleeing the scene, the man drove into the barrier. Mrozek said the suspect wasn’t giving any coherent answers to the police and will be tested for alcohol and drugs.__The Nation