And a jogger has claimed the same individual also pursued him and threw syringes filled with dark liquid at him. Detectives have launched an investigation after a man was detained on suspicion of contamination of goods with the intention of causing public harm or anxiety in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Police were called at about 7.35pm last night (Wednesday) to reports of a man shouting abuse at people in the street.
The 37-year-old man reportedly entered three supermarkets all located in Fulham Palace Road, SW6 – a Little Waitrose, a Sainsbury’s Local and a Tesco Express.
He was arrested at the scene and has been taken to a central London police station where he remains in custody.
The three supermarkets are currently closed and crime scenes remain in place.
Speaking to MailOnline, Tom Harrington, 38, said a man had chanted ‘run fat boy run’ at him just after 7pm last night in Hammersmith.
Media analyst Mr Harrington said the man then produced a metal cylinder containing roughly 30 syringes.
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Detective Chief Superintendent Owain Richards, in charge of policing in Hammersmith and Fulham, said: “I acknowledge the public concern around this incident. Investigations are under way to understand what items have been contaminated, but we now know this includes food and non-food items.
“Enquiries are also ongoing to identify what the items have been contaminated with and this is subject to further forensic examination.
“We would ask people not to speculate until we have these results.”
Mr Richards emphasised there was nothing which currently suggested the suspect had been working as part of a group – but he emphasised detectives were keeping an open mind about the motive.
He added: “I would like to reassure members of the public that the Met is working closely with our partners at Hammersmith and Fulham Council, as well as other authorities, as we pursue all lines of inquiry.
“This is a multi-agency response and we are also working with the supermarket branches that have been affected.
“We have not had further reports of the type of incidents brought to our attention and we are continuing to work on establishing the timeline of this man’s movements and the wider circumstances of these events.”
A spokesperson from Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “This is a worrying incident and we’re working with the Metropolitan Police and Public Health England to examine any risks to the public or staff at the supermarkets. Currently, these risks are thought to be low.
“We have asked the three retailers to discard items in their shops and undertake a deep clean of their premises as an added precaution.”
Whilst police are working to establish the full facts, it has been recommended that as a precaution members of the public should dispose of any items bought from these three supermarkets on the evening of Wednesday, August 25.
Anyone who finds a foreign object in any item purchased from any of the supermarkets concerned is being asked to keep it, together with the packaging, and call police via 101 quoting reference Cad 6341/25AUG.
Anyone with health concerns is being advised to call their GP, while concerns or questions for the council should be addressed to Hammersmith and Fulham’s Environmental Health team via [email protected]