Traffic warden's 'sumo move’ on burglar
Published: Wednesday 25th May 11
New council leader Ravi Govindia has paid tribute to the courage of a brave Wandsworth parking attendant who risked serious injury when he helped police apprehend a violent suspect.
Parking attendant Duro Ugbana leaped into action last Wednesday when he saw officers struggling to detain a man they wanted to question on suspicion of burglary.
He had been patrolling the area around St John's Road in Battersea when he heard the sounds of the violent struggle.
Seeing that the officers were in difficulties, he grabbed the man around the waist and lifted him off the ground, preventing him from fleeing the scene.
The man was eventually handcuffed and detained. During the arrest a number of police officers sustained injuries, including bruising and a broken finger. Duro suffered a minor back injury, but was also temporarily blinded by CS gas that had been discharged during the incident.
Despite these injuries, Duro, who is employed as a civil enforcement officer by the council's parking contractor Mouchel, was back at work the next day.
Afterwards he said: "When I heard the sounds of this commotion and saw that the police officers needed help I just ran in. I didn't think twice.
"I could see one of the officers trying to keep hold of him but the man was wriggling and struggling so fiercely it looked like he was going to get away so I just ran over and grabbed him by the waist and lifted him up like a sumo wrestler.
"Unfortunately I did get some CS spray in my face and it took 20 minutes to get my sight back. It was pretty painful, but next day I was back at work.
"I'm not a hero, I just believe if you can help in a situation you should help. Everyone should do that. I don't believe it is just the job of the police to keep the peace.
"If you see something going wrong then you should intervene. That's just the way I was brought up."
Cllr Govindia said: "The whole community owes Duro a great debt of gratitude for his courage and selflessness.
"It is a terribly daunting prospect to physically intervene in this kind of violent fracas, and many of us would shrink from doing so, but Duro showed his dedication as a public servant by assisting the police and helping to apprehend a violent suspected criminal.
"Traffic wardens often get a bad press, but people should bear in mind that they do perform a valuable service in keeping traffic moving and preventing commuters from hogging parking spaces in residential streets - and occasionally they do what Duro has done here and act in a brave and courageous way in serving wider community interests."