Merkel was addressing a crowd of about 3,000 CDU supporters on the Johannes Rau Platz in the town of Wuppertal when federal police officers noticed two women in a nearby window, one of whom was holding a “suspect object,” police said in statement.
They surrounded the apartment and nabbed the five people – two men and three women – as they tried to leave, police chief Michael Bartsch told daily Bild.
The police officers searched the apartment and found two toy “cap” guns. They arrested two men and a woman. The men were later released but the woman was held because she had an outstanding arrest warrant for another matter.
Neither Merkel nor North Rhine-Westphalian state premier Jürgen Rüttgers, on whose behalf the chancellor was campaigning, were aware of the incident as it was unfolding, police said.
“Everything went calmly and came to a peaceful conclusion,” a police spokesman said.