“Oh my god, there’s someone with a chainsaw outside me door. He’s chasing someone up the road”– Proclaims an eight second, blurry video which was widely shared across social media. The clip doesn’t give us much insight, we see for perhaps a second of it, a distant image of a man carrying what appears to be a chainsaw up Arbroath Road, Farringdon, but that’s it.
The news quickly spiralled into a mass hysteria and rumour mill around Sunderland, with it soon being exaggerated into a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the claim someone had actually died. We felt it was time to investigate, so we did, and not surprisingly the news is hardly as terrifying as what social media might have you believe.
On contacting Northumbria Police, they sent out a statement that there was an “affray” on Arbroath Road between a 34 year old man and a 31 year old woman. An affray is defined as a public disturbance or breach of the peace. Both of these individuals were arrested and detained overnight. There was no other comment given.
Later, an image was sent into Sunderland Global Media (SGM) depicting what was speculated to be blood on the same street. Of course, this itself was evidence the aforementioned “chainsaw” massacre had not occurred, because it’s a few drops, if that, which is consistent with a fight as opposed to any escalatory or extreme violence.
And of course, when it comes to rumours of people dying, in cases like this the absence of evidence is the evidence is absence, as there were no ambulances, no other official statements, or anything like that.
So really, it’s a whole load of nonsense about a fight between the two people albeit a chainsaw was probably used in order to intimidate someone, even if it wasn’t used, but you can only praise the creative imagination of the residents of Farringdon!