How a barman tried (and failed) to make citizen’s arrest on Tony Blair as the former PM dined in London restaurant
A barman has described how he tried to carry out a citizen’s arrest on Tony Blair for ‘crimes against peace’ while the former Prime Minister was out having dinner.
Twiggy Garcia approached Mr Blair at a trendy restaurant in Shoreditch, east London, and attempted to apprehend him in front of his family.
The part-time music producer claimed he put his hand on Blair’s shoulder and told him: ‘Mr Blair, this is a citizen’s arrest for a crime against peace, namely your decision to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq.’
‘I am inviting you to accompany me to a police station to answer the charge.’
Mr Garcia made the bold move due to a site which offers a £2,150 bounty for anyone who ‘arrests’ Mr Blair for crimes against peace.
He said Mr Blair responded by engaging him in a debate about Syria and Saddam Hussein, before the former PM’s son alerted a security guard. Mr Garcia decided to then leave the restaurant ’to avoid any trouble’.
He told Vice magazine: ‘My heart rate increased when I found out he was in the building; there was a eerie presence, which some of the other staff noticed too.
‘I went over to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said: “Mr Blair, this is a citizen’s arrest for a crime against peace, namely your decision to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq. I am inviting you to accompany me to a police station to answer the charge.”
‘He said, “No, shouldn’t you be worried about Syria?” and I replied that I can only address things that are within my grasp at any one time.
‘Then he asked me, “But don’t you agree that Saddam was a brutal dictator and he needed to be removed?” and I replied “Not by an illegal war.” Then he started talking about how lots of people died in the 1980s.’
Mr Garcia made the attempted citizen’s arrest after learning that Mr Blair was eating at Tramshed, a trendy East London restaurant where he was working at the time.
He said attempting to arrest Tony Blair was ‘something I have wanted to do for a few years’, as he believes ‘Blair is responsible for the mass murder of Iraqi civilians after taking our country into an illegal war.’
Perhaps realising he would have difficulties in justifying what he had done to his employer, Mr Garcia decided to quit his job ‘there and then’ when he walked out of the restaurant that night.
Mr Garcia is the fifth person to have attempted an arrest on Tony Blair, who now works as a Middle East peace envoy.
A spokesperson for the former Prime Minister dismissed the incident, saying there was ‘nothing to report’.
They said: ‘Mr Blair did offer to discuss the issue – that offer was declined and the individual walked off. Nothing else happened. Everyone is fine and they had a great time.’