|PC Thanks 'Hero' Who Saved her|
Student 'wouldn't think twice' about doing the same again
We accompanied PC Li when she went to meet Matthew to thank him yesterday in Uxbridge College, where he is studying Motor Vehicle Maintenance. She called him her 'hero for the day'.
Matthew told us how he had been on a 607 bus, travelling from college to Westfield, when a man started acting up with the bus driver. He told us how the man had thrown himself in front of the bus, then started headbutting it and tearing off the windscreen wipers.
A PCSO intervened and then radioed for support which is when PC Li arrived to provide back-up. PC Li tried repeatedly to get the man to go to the side of the road, but he became more and more irate, then attacked her.
Matthew told us: "I saw him hit PC Li and thought to myself 'that is enough - I'm not having that' and pounced on him."
Matthew told us how he feels kids like him get bad press. "Most of us aren't that bad." He says he and many of his friends are wary of helping people "because we're wary of knives or we might get sued or something."
However, this didn't stop Matthew from helping to subdue the man, who he says was quite tall and stocky, (Matthew is skinny and not that tall) until he had helped to get him into cufflinks and more Police Officers had arrived. "I thought to myself - I think they can handle it from here," he said. He says he wouldn't think twice about doing it again "even if it was a male Police Officer".
It seems this local hero takes such acts in his stride: "I went on to Westfield and then got a call to go to Acton Police Station."
Apparently, Matthew's Mum - and his friends were quite surprised. She tried to contact him whilst he was with the Police and was very worried, then found it hard to believe what Matthew had done.
PC Li says: "Matthew is my hero for the day."
She has been a Police Officer for 8 years and has worked in Acton since 2006. She was taken aback to get the call to go to the High Street as it is apparently unusual to get trouble at around 12:45pm on a Monday.
By the time she arrived at the scene, she says there were around 50 people standing around watching. "It was like something out of Rocky with all the traffic stopped and everyone watching what was going on."
PC Li suffered whiplash during the attack, but apart from some physiotherapy does not expect to need further treatment. She returned to work the following day.
PC Li was keen to know what Matthew's future plans were and whether they included considering a career with the Police. Matthew told us he wants to go to university and then join his brother in the Navy (Matthew used to be in Hayes Sea Cadets until it shut down due to lack of funding and has done lots of sailing on the Welsh Harp). "I want to travel round the world and help people, but I may think about joining the Police later."
Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: “Matthew’s actions were brave and selfless and I am incredibly impressed with the way he stepped in to help this police officer in a difficult situation. Matthew is a real credit to himself and to Uxbridge College, and I would like to commend him for the courage and maturity he has shown."
A man has been arrested and charged for assaulting a police officer and is due to appear at magistrates court next month.
March 25, 2010