A 37-YEAR-OLD man who caused “chaos” by sitting on the roof of Sidcup police station only came down because he wanted a cigarette, according to an eyewitness.

The man, who has been named locally as Paul, was talked down from the roof at 11.10pm last night after he climbed up at around 7.45pm.

Rebecca Ellis, who lives within the area of Sidcup cordoned off by police, watched the incident unfold.

The 30-year-old told News Shopper: “There was so much chaos when I got back at about 9pm, I couldn’t drive into the High Street.

“When I saw all the police I was really worried and I presumed it was something like a gas explosion or something really serious.

“Police were in bullet proof vests so I thought is there a gunman loose or something.”

As the hours passed, the middle-aged man showed no sign of retreating and Miss Ellis says he kept standing and then sitting down again.

News Shopper: The man is seen to be smoking on the roof (Picture: Gemma Wilson)

The photography student added: “At one point there was a woman screaming at him ‘Paul get down, you f***ing d**k.’ “He replied ‘go home and go back to the kids.’”

Eventually, two police negotiators were escorted to the roof on an aerial platform provided by London Fire Brigade.

Miss Ellis said: “They harnessed the negotiators up but he didn’t like them for some reason.

“I just heard him screaming at them ‘you are a grass.’

“So they came down and they sent another one up.

“I think he got to the point where he had given up.

“I could hear them saying to him ‘what do you expect to do now?’

“He first said I will sleep up here.”

He was finally lowered down to the ground at 11.10pm where he was sectioned by police under the mental health act.

News Shopper: Firefighters rescue the man (Picture: Gemma Wilson)

But having overheard the conversation between the man and the police negotiator, Miss Ellis says he only came down because he had finished his packet of cigarettes.

She said: “He ran out of cigarettes which is why he wanted to come down.

“As soon as he came down someone else gave him a cigarette, one of the non uniformed policemen or fire crew.

“One of his friends was there trying to plead with the police, saying ‘I will walk him home, you haven’t got to take him.’ “But he was really calm and his friend waved him off.”

News Shopper: The man is lead away by police (Picture: Gemma Wilson)

Met Police officers, London Ambulance Service (LAS) paramedics and three fire engines were on standby for more than three hours, after all being called at around 8pm.

Sidcup High Street was closed in both directions between Elm Road and Christchurch Road throughout the incident.