From The Times
Over a dozen people and three police officers were taken to hospital yesterday, after violence erupted at the launch of Richard Blake’s new novel The Blood of Alexandria.
Fans had queued all night outside the Charing Cross Branch of Waterstones to obtain first copies of this much-awaited work by the critically-acclaimed and internationally best-selling novelist. However, when copies ran out after the first ten minutes, disappointed fans fought viciously in Trafalgar Square with knuckle dusters and sharpened umbrellas.
Chief Inspector Srindomar Pakeshi defended his decision to use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds. Speaking from the hospital room where he has resumed his sick leave, he said: “In over 18 months of policing, I’ve never seen anything like it. I had no choice but to order my officers to open fire.”
Enid Braithwait, 73, Chairwoman of the Richard Blake Appreciation Society, threw the whole blame on the management of Waterstones. She said: “If only they had ordered another 500 copies, none of this would have been necessary. As it is, I just don’t care about the plate glass windows.”
Richard Blake was unavailable for comment.