Police have arrested the student who stormed to the roof of the Millbank tower in London along with hundreds of other demonstrators and allegedly threw the fire extinguisher towards the crowd.
His actions at the time were described by police as 'idiotic'. A student march attended by around 50,000 descended on Millbank tower, where the headquarters of the Conservative Party are based. Once at the front of the building, tensions grew, missiles were thrown and some demonstrators stormed through the reception foyer.
Hundreds bolted towards the roof and footage taken from police helicopters show one young man swinging a fire extinguisher around his head and then lobbing it off the roof towards a crowd of hundreds of police and thousands of demonstrators. Luckily the heavy extinguisher crashed harmlessly just feet away from a line of riot police. If it had hit anyone, it would almost certainly have been fatal.
It is with this in mind that representatives of the police federation want a charge of attempted murder brought, reports Sky News.
The arrested student, 23, from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge was arrested by officers in Cambridgeshire on behalf of the Metropolitan Police. The student, originally from Reading, is being held at Parkside police station in Cambridge. At present he is being held on suspicion of violent disorder.
The incident was one of the defining moments in a four-hour riot between students and demonstrators, rallying against a tripling of university fees, and police, who were largely unable to contain the crowds, mindful perhaps of their criticism received in April during the G20 summit protests when riot squad officers physically assaulted several demonstrators, one man died minutes later from a heart attack after being pushed to the ground during those incidents.
A statement from the National Union of Student branch based at Anglia Ruskin University expressed regret, announcing:
We organised for a group of 200 students to attend the NUS national demonstration in London. During the demonstration Anglia Ruskin students acted respectfully and protested peacefully. However, on Thursday 11th November we learnt that an incident had occurred allegedly involving an Anglia Ruskin student. Anglia Ruskin Students' Union does not condone any act of violence nor supports the action that took place on Wednesday 10th November at 30 Millbank, London. We will do all we can to assist.
Met Police have released the final figures to the Press Association of the numbers of arrests. Earlier on Friday the Met revealed 10 of the 54 people arrested during violent disorder were school pupils aged under 18 and the remainder were all students, 21 women and 23 men.