Brav­ery recog­nised at po­lice awards cer­e­mony

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - ELESHA ED­MONDS

Two men who chased down a rob­ber after he held up a shop owner with a knife have been recog­nised with a brav­ery award.

Ti­mothy Christopher, 24, was walk­ing home from univer­sity on July 1 when he no­ticed a com­mo­tion.

A shop­keeper in the Auck­land sub­urb of Grafton had been held up by a knife-wield­ing man de­mand­ing cig­a­rettes.

Ti­mothy saw the of­fender run out of the store and be­gan chas­ing him as he ran to­wards the Auck­land Do­main.

He man­aged to grab a back­pack the of­fender was car­ry­ing and opened it to find a kitchen knife and two packs of cig­a­rettes.

‘‘I’m glad I got the bag off him … that knife didn’t look very friendly,’’ Christopher said.

Thialgo Dias Da Rocha was sit­ting in his car at the traf­fic lights when he no­ticed what was go­ing on and de­cided to join the chase.

The 30-year-old pain­ter man­aged to catch up with the of­fender be­fore tack­ling him to the ground.

A strug­gle en­sued and Dias Da Rocha was stabbed in the hand with a screw­driver.

De­spite the in­juries to his fin­ger, Dias Da Rocha held the man down un­til po­lice ar­rived and ar­rested him.

Christopher and Dias Da Rocha were re­united at the Auck­land Po­lice medal and awards cer­e­mony at Eden Park on Fri­day.

Both men re­ceived a loud ap­plause and cer­tifi­cates of ap­pre­ci­a­tion as their story was read out to the crowd.

Dias Da Rocha, who moved to New Zealand from Brazil two years ago, said he never ex­pected to re­ceive recog­ni­tion by po­lice for his ac­tions. the Auck­land dog base ‘‘mag­net for trou­ble’’.

It’s a fit­ting nick­name for the dog han­dler who has re­ceived a po­lice brav­ery award for his role in track­ing down and ar­rest­ing vi­o­lent of­fender Ge­orge Which­man, a wanted man with con­nec­tions to the Killer Beez.

Pen­ning­ton, who has worked for the po­lice for 20 years, said it was great to be recog­nised for his work.

His po­lice dog, re­ceived a rib­bon.

‘‘You do a lot of stuff and you don’t of­ten get thanked for it.’’ Iso, is a also

LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Ti­mothy Christopher and Thiago Dias Da Rocha were recog­nised for their ef­forts stop­ping an armed rob­ber.

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