Off-duty cop rugby tack­led knife man

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @oliv­erclayRWWN

AN off-duty Run­corn po­lice of­fi­cer’s ‘heroic ac­tions’ have been praised af­ter he rugby-tack­led a flee­ing sus­pect armed with a knife de­spite it be­ing his day off.

Po­lice Con­sta­ble Jon Carter was out shop­ping in Mersey­side when he spot­ted two pa­trol cars ‘screech­ing up’ out­side a pub and a fig­ure emerge be­fore dart­ing away from pur­su­ing of­fi­cers into an al­ley­way. In­stead of car­ry­ing on with this day off, he swung his car round to the back to where he thought the other end of the al­ley would be.

As pre­dicted, the sus­pect emerged only to hes­i­tate at the sight of what must have looked like a mem­ber of the pub­lic bear­ing down on him, and tried to sprint away.

PC Carter shouted ‘stop po­lice’ and af­ter a short pur­suit bar­relled into him, rugby tack­ling the man to the ground and re­strain­ing him only to hear warn­ings the man was try­ing to ● grab a knife from his waist­band.

Help was nearby and within se­conds Mersey­side of­fi­cers were on the man and had him in hand­cuffs.

The off-duty po­lice­man, 27, said that out of habit he was check­ing for his ra­dio and kit as he headed to­wards the sus­pect only to find noth­ing there. He said the sus­pect was ap­proach­ing a busy area and might have evaded po­lice if he had not been there to grab him.

PC Carter, who has been a po­lice­man for about two years, said: “I was off-duty, it was a nor­mal day. I’d gone into the shop when I saw the two Mersey­side pan­das come screech­ing up from each di­rec­tion.

“A run­ner came out, they told him to stay, he’s run off into an al­ley­way.

“It’s quite long and I knew where it comes out.

“By the time I’d got to the end he would have got to a ma­jor road.

“I ran round to cut him off, I shot round in the car and jumped out.

“I said ‘stop po­lice’, grabbed hold of him and as I was wrestling with him all I could hear was ‘he’s try­ing to get a knife’.

“His right arm was rum­mag­ing be­hind his back.

“Luck­ily the Mersey­side bob­bies shot up, cuffed him and man­aged to take him down.

“He had a big kitchen knife, a screw­driver and a po­tato peeler!”

He added: “You go into au­topi­lot, it’s quite strange. I was reach­ing for stuff, you expect your kit to be there and it’s like ‘just me this time’.

“Your train­ing kicks in and you start look­ing.”

On hear­ing there was a knife, he said: “You’re com­mit­ted at that point, you know it’s se­ri­ous.

“The way I had hold of him was quite good, he’s against the wall.”

Sergeant Chris Mad­docks, of Run­corn Lo­cal Polic­ing Unit, said: “We’re very proud of Jon’s ac­tions that day.

“Jon’s em­pha­sised the high stan­dards that we would expect from po­lice of­fi­cers while on and off­duty – po­lice are never off­duty, and Jon’s shown that by putting him­self into that dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion and thank­fully de­tained that in­di­vid­ual.

“Jon’s ac­tions are noth­ing short of heroic.”

PC Jon Carter was off duty when he ar­rested a sus­pect with a knife

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