An Oxford student was threatened with a knife following an altercation at Escape nightclub last Friday.
A man described as Eastern European took out a blade and pointed it at the stomach of Christchurch undergraduate Michael Taylor, after a row about a lost mobile phone.
Security guards at the club made sure the man was not able to leave until police arrived. However, he was not arrested.
Having searched the the man, police were unable to find a knife on his person.
Taylor told Cherwell that he was with fellow Christ Church student Joe Angliss. Both had been drinking, and Angliss had lost his phone, according to Taylor. The two went to the first level of the club in an attempt to find it.
They then met a group of two Eastern European men and two women. Angliss started talking to the group about his phone, and they took offence at what he had said.
“He was drunk so it may have come over worse,” said Taylor. “‘Why is he accusing us about his phone?’” he reported one of the men as saying.
Angliss described how he knocked over one of the group’s drinks and offered to buy them another one.
“I offered to buy the guy another drink which he accepted but for some reason he didn’t relax; instead, he became more aggressive and confrontational,” he said.
In an attempt to diffuse the situation, Angliss moved to the bar to buy another drink, and this is when the pair claim that the knife was pulled out.
“It was whilst my back was turned to him just a few feet away that he pulled a knife on the friend standing closest to me, briefly holding it to his stomach and warning him to watch out,” Angliss said.
“I handed him the new drink unaware of the threat, but then two of my friends took me aside and explained what had happened; they both left straightaway, one particularly shaken.”
Taylor said how the man, whom he described as around five foot nine inches and with blonde hair, “took out a penknife and pointed it at me”.
Once Angliss realised what was going on, he came over to Taylor and said “He’s got a knife, let’s leave him”.
They then alerted the club bouncers, who made sure the man was not able to leave the club until the police arrived.
“They were searched, but a policewoman informed me that they could not arrest them,” Angliss said.
Thames Valley police confirmed that they had been called to the scene regarding a knife threat in the early hours of Saturday morning.
They responded to the call immediately and were on the scene within two minutes.
A spokesperson for the police service said that they took knife threats “extremely seriously.”
However, despite the confirmaiton of a knife threat by the students, no blade was found on the man by police. He was left without charge, the spokesperson confirmed.
Taylor described his feeling as “drunk and a bit shaken” as he left the club immediately after the incident, but said it would not put him off clubbing in Oxford. He claimed that Escape management dealt with the situation “very well” and that he had never felt threatened when out at University before.
Angliss said he was not upset by the incident, but was concerned that the police were able to take no action.
Police praised the quick response of the students and the Escape management, and advised anyone else involved in a knife threat to contact them immediately.
Escape and Varsity management were contacted but have not yet responded.