Marcus Bent recalls calling police in knife-wielding panic attack
Former Premier League footballer Marcus Bent has recalled how he spiralled into a cocaine addiction and was arrested by police after a knife-wielding panic attack.
Ex-Ipswich, Everton, Charlton and Birmingham striker Bent, who played for a host of other clubs, has revealed how he turned to cocaine to "self-medicate" after his professional career came to an end in 2012.
Shortly after 9:30pm on September 13, 2015, Bent called Surrey Police claiming someone had broken into his apartment and he feared for his life.
Three police officers arrived to hear him shouting for help inside and firearm officers were summoned, only to be approached by Bent wielding a meat cleaver and kitchen knife when they broke into the property.
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He was tasered after raising the knife towards an officer and restrained as police officers searched the apartment to find no intruders but a small quantity of cocaine.
Bent has now opened up about the incident, telling The Athletic : “I was paranoid and I was hallucinating. I felt there were people in my house. I remember thinking the door handle was moving.
"I called the police and I picked up something to defend myself. When the police came, I went to the door with these knives. If I think back, obviously I should have put the knives down but I wasn’t in a good way. So, of course, they were terrified — someone who’s on drugs, someone who’s paranoid, with two knives.
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“They tasered me and I think you know the rest. But I remember going into the police station and actually feeling secure and safe. ‘I’m locked up now. No one can get me’. That’s how my mind was at that time.
"Then, the next morning, there was talk of me being charged with attempted murder. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. At no point was I ever going to take someone’s life. I called them because I was hallucinating, paranoid, terrified.”
Bent was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence, a two-month curfew and 200 hours of compulsory unpaid work having admitted charges of cocaine possession and affray.
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He refers to it as the "worst time of my life" as he suffered with anxiety, "waking up in sweats" over the ordeal.
He initially resisted going to rehab before agreeing after help from Tony Adams' Sporting Chance clinic.
He added: "I remember going in. I didn’t want to go. But I’d hit rock bottom and it was time to acknowledge what I was doing and what my responsibilities were."
- Premier League
- Everton FC
- Birmingham City FC
- Ipswich Town FC
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