6 Apr 2015

Woman freed after Melbourne siege

10:44 am on 6 April 2015

A man has been arrested after a siege in a Melbourne restaurant ended with the release of a woman who was being held hostage throughout the night.

Police have arrested a 35-year-old man they say was a disgruntled former employee of the Ludlow restaurant at Southbank.

They say the man was armed with a knife when he entered the restaurant about 10pm on Sunday and made his way to a back store room, where the woman was.

Another employee spotted the knife, and staff and customers fled as police were called.

About 5.30am the woman, 27, was released and police moved in, tasering the man before arresting him. He was wheeled out of the restaurant on a stretcher and taken to hospital as a precaution.

Officers cleared the area and negotiators worked through the night to try to get the man to give himself up.

Inspector Travis McCarthy said he believed the man had been working at the restaurant until the last week or so.

"At this stage it's really the subject of an ongoing investigation but he's disgruntled about some employment issues with the restaurant," he told reporters.

He said it appeared the woman just happened to be there at the time.

"There is nothing to indicate that any direct threats were made to her," he said.

But he added it would have been traumatising for her over a long period time.

The surrounding area was cordoned off during the siege.