Screams were heard after a man was seen wielding a crossbow in a town centre and police officers fled away from him.
A clip shows the man carrying the weapon through Barnsley in South Yorkshire at around 1.30am this morning.
In the footage, he can be seen setting the crossbow on the ground as two unarmed officers approach him.
But as police get closer, he picks it up again – causing the officers to flee the scene.
Screams can be heard in the background from revellers in the street.
South Yorkshire Police said a 31-year-old man from Barnsley was arrested on suspicion of affray and remains in police custody, Yorkshire Live reports.
The force said officers on routine patrol shielded the public before armed back-up arrived.
The suspect had been seen on CCTV threatening members of the public with the weapon on Peel Street, cops said this morning.
Supt Paul McCurry, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Prior to their arrival, unarmed officers on routine public order duty approached the man using their shields to protect members of the public.
“Their actions resulted in the man dropping the weapon, which was safely recovered.
“The man then ran from officers, climbing onto the bridge on West Way.
“Due to the skills of officers at the scene, he was swiftly detained and brought to safety.”
Nobody was hurt in the incident, police said.
Praising his officers for their bravery, Supt McCurry said: “This was a serious incident which was distressing for those who saw it unfold.
“Our officers showed their absolute commitment to public safety this morning, they responded very quickly with limited protection to safely resolve the incident.
“Clearly our investigation into this incident is continuing and it is vital that anyone who saw what happened gets in touch with us.
“If you have any information, photos or video footage that might help us, please contact 101 quoting incident number 75 of May 9.”