A man allegedly held a girl, three, at knifepoint in the street sparking a police operation to free her.
Residents say they saw him walking around the area screaming and said he was threatening to hurt the toddler and holding the kitchen knife against her throat.
He was arrested after an operation by specialist officers to negotiate with him.
The shocking incident unfolded yesterday in the Sea View Street area of Cleethorpes at 4.18am yesterday.
Police blocked off nearby streets and managed to get the child away from the man after a long negotiation.
He was then arrested and taken to an ambulance, with witnesses saying his neck was covered with blood.
He was taken to hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries, and is now in police custody.
One resident said: ‘They did a good job, the old bill, that’s for sure. They were very good at getting the child away and safe.
‘You just feel sorry for them though, especially the young girl. That memory is going to be her for quite some time.’
Another resident who witnessed the incident said: ‘It was around 4am when it started. He came walking down the street towards St Peter’s Avenue and had a police van cruising behind him.
‘There was a man shouting and screaming, and he was threatening to
stab the girl and had a knife to her throat.
‘They managed to get him down onto Mollison Avenue and block him in,
and they brought out a negotiator.
‘He spoke to him for ages, trying to get him to calm down and get the
child away from him. I can remember the negotiator asking if he could
give her his jacket to keep her warm.
‘About five minutes later, he was walking away carrying her in his arms.
‘They were mostly talking to him and calming him down after that, the
priority was always the little one. But shortly afterwards, they were
able to arrest him and took him to one of the ambulances.’
Another resident, who lives on Chapman Grove, said: ‘I heard some police and a man screaming his head off. When I had a look, I saw armed police running down the road after someone, and heard a man screaming like he was possessed.’
A spokesperson for Humberside Police said: ‘A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon following an incident on a Cleethorpes street in the early hours of Sunday.
‘Police were called at 4.18am following reports of concern for the safety of the residents of a property on Sea View Street, Cleethorpes.
‘It is reported that a man left the property with a three-year-old child, while holding a kitchen knife.
‘Specialist officers, including police negotiators, were deployed to the scene to ensure the man and child’s safety, as well as the safety of the wider community.
‘The incident was safely concluded on a nearby street, when the 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of an offensive weapon. He was taken to hospital for treatment for minor injuries, but is now in police custody.
‘The three-year-old was also taken to hospital as a precautionary measure but was not injured during the incident.
‘Officers are providing support to the three-year-old and family.
‘There will be an increased police presence in the local community today to provide reassurance, as well as to enable house-to-house and CCTV enquiries to be carried out.