Friday 19 July 2024
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Nottingham

Off-duty police officer tackles electric bike thief

An off-duty police officer who grappled a suspect to the ground after watching him steal a bike has been labelled a “hero” by the victim.

Sergeant Jonathan Pothecary was driving into work when he spotted Mikolaj Skorczewski trying to grab an electric bike from another man.

The city centre officer turned his car around and saw Skorczewski, aged 19, riding off with the bike.

Sgt Pothecary pulled up alongside the victim to check he was OK, before catching up with Skorczewski as he continued to ride away from the scene, along Mansfield Road, Sherwood.

The officer pulled up in a bus lane before exiting his car and grabbing hold of Skorczewski and detaining him.

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During the arrest, Sgt Pothecary was struck in the face as Skorczewski unsuccessfully attempted to get away.

Members of the public called 999 as Sgt Pothecary pinned the suspect to the ground, with police colleagues arriving moments later to take him into custody.

Sgt Pothecary was later thanked by the victim, who called him a “hero”.

The victim, in his 40s, added: “I was left feeling upset and shaken by the incident. I’m thankful that the police were there.”

Skorczewski, of Bulwell, was charged with theft of a pedal cycle and common assault of an emergency worker following the incident, which happened at around 6.30am on 26 January.

He pleaded guilty to both offences and was given a community order involving 60 hours of unpaid work and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement when he was sentenced at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 14 February.

Sgt Pothecary, who leads the Operation Compass team, which carries out proactive patrols in Nottingham city centre, said:

“I did nothing that any other officer wouldn’t have done. I was just at the right place at the right time – certainly for the victim, not so much for the offender.

“It was nice to see the victim smiling at the end of the encounter as the suspect was being taken away to custody and the victim being reunited with his bike.

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