Off-duty cop rugby tackled knife man
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