A man with a knife held up traffic on Leicester Road, Market Harborough, last night (Monday).
The man, aged about 25, caused queues of traffic in both directions as he stood on the white line in the middle of the road, gesturing with the knife.
The man was kept calm by passer-by Andy Gullick (45), a former prison governor.
Meanwhile a motorist stopped to direct traffic around the agitated man.
The incident happened at around 8pm on Monday night on Leicester Road, not far from Market Harborough police station.
Mr Gullick told the Mail: “I was driving back home out of Market Harborough to Blaby, when I saw up in front some cars slowing down and kind of swerving.
“As I got closer I saw a young lad with a big coat with a hood on and a shoulder bag just stood there in the middle of the road with a knife, which he was holding to his own arm, making actions to cut himself.”
Mr Gullick, a former social worker and prison governor stopped his car, called the police and tried to talk to the man.
“I spent the next 10 minutes just stood in the middle of the road, with traffic driving past, trying to reassure this guy with a knife and talk to him.
“I was saying, ‘I’m Andy, what’s your name?’ ‘you must be cold’, that sort of thing. I think he could hear me, but he looked out of it and he didn’t say a single thing.
“I was thinking ‘I hope the police hurry up’.
“Meanwhile the police operator, who was lovely, was saying ‘do you want to get back in your car?’”
At about 8.15pm, the police arrived, and three police officers managed to get the knife out of the man’s hand and take him away.
Mr Gullick, who now works as a director of an employment company, said: “It took the police about five minutes to knock the knife out of his hand, put him in those wire cuffs and take him away.”