Thursday, April 17, 2014
Drama on the Royal tour: Pair 'acting suspiciously' and harassing crowd just metres from Kate and William are stopped and searched
Police have stopped and searched two suspects who were 'acting suspiciously' and 'causing a disturbance' just metres from where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were travelling during their visit to Australia's Blue Mountains.
Two men were detained after the incident, one of whom was wearing what a witness earlier described as a bullet-proof vest. However pictures show that the vest is in fact made of mesh, with pro-Israel stickers attached.
The men were seen in the village of Winmalee shortly after the Royals arrived to meet people who lost their homes in catastrophic bush fires which swept through the region six months ago.
A witness told MailOnline the pair got to within 10 metres of Wills and Kate's car as the royal couple departed fire-affected areas on the way to the Winmalee girls guide hall for morning tea.
He said the men were searched completely and had to take off 'all their clothes including their socks'.
One of the males was taken away by police, while another was let go. He was seen approaching a woman waiting at a bus stop and asked to use her mobile phone.
In the lead-up to the dramatic incident the men were seen talking on headsets.
A NSW police spokeswoman confirmed the two men, aged 37 and 21, were 'stopped and searched' by officers at the scene.
'About 12.10pm police stopped and spoke to two men who were allegedly harassing members of the crowd gathered at the corner of Singles Ridge Road and Buena Vista Road, Winmalee,' she said.
'They were stopped and searched and moved on from the area.'
David Berger, president of residents' group Shalom Aleichem Blue Mountains, said he believed the two were 'pretending' to be Jewish.
'I don’t recognise them but I get the immediate feeling that they are not kosher, pretenders,' he said.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff also told MailOnline he didn’t recognise the pair, adding: 'no one in the office has set eyes on them'.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today met two families whose homes were destroyed in the New South Wales bush fires of last October, including a woman who was so convinced she would not escape she thought she was 'going to be barbecue'. The couple visited Winmalee, a small community in the Blue Mountains, where in the space of a few hours 195 homes were destroyed in the worst bush fires in the state for a decade. They were flown there by helicopter from Sydney, Kate wearing a £295 DVF batik print Patrice wrap dress with her favourite £245 Russell and Bromley wedges. The couple stopped at Buena Vista Road, where half the homes were lost and the street still bears the scars of the devastation - blackened tree trunks, and flattened plots where homes used to be. There they spoke to Eartha and Peter Odell and their children Mia, nine, and Ty, six, who lost their home at a time when their daughter was waiting for an operation for a life-threatening brain condition. Mrs Odell, 47, said: 'They were just really personable and sincere in trying to understand our grief. They were very sweet and very warm. I totally respect that they took the time out to visit our street. 'It's a very private thing, our land. It's very hard having everyone looking at it. But for them to come all this way to say hello and "I'm sorry this happened to you" - it means an awful lot. It did not seem like duty to them - it seemed like a pleasure.
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