Street cleaner catches knifepoint mugger
Published: Friday 27th July 12
A Wandsworth Council street cleaner has been praised by police and is in line for a top bravery award after tackling a knife wielding mugger in Putney.
Paul Davis could be awarded with a police commendation after his "outstanding actions" led to the arrest of the mugger just moments after the knifepoint robbery.
Sgt Matt Snowden of the East Hill and West Hill safer neighbourhood team said: "As a result of the brave and conscientious actions of Mr Paul Davis a dangerous offender was successfully captured and brought to justice.
"Please pass on a huge thank you to Mr Davis for his assistance on behalf of myself, the Metropolitan Police and the Putney community as a whole."
Mr Davis, who is employed by the council's street cleaning contractor Fountains Plc, was in Carlton Drive in Putney when he saw the robber threaten his victim with a ten inch knife.
Alerted by shouts and screams, Mr Davis saw the robber holding the blade to the victim's throat before making off with his coat and a large quantity of cash.
The 43-year-old street cleaner chased the robber through a nearby set of flats, where the knife and the coat were dumped, before catching him just outside East Putney tube station. He managed to detain him for a few moments until police officers arrived.
Once the mugger was in custody, Mr Davis was able to retrace his footsteps and led the officers to the abandoned knife and coat - vitally important pieces of evidence. Police were also able to hand back the stolen money to the victim.
Later he said: "I was minding my own business when I heard this commotion behind me and saw this young guy waving a knife around and shouting 'give me the money'.
"Then he pressed the knife up against the man's neck and I decided I had to do something. I couldn't just stand there and watch all this going on and not do something to try and stop it.
"To be honest I didn't really think about it - I just reacted and when the guy ran off I just kept on chasing him. I was determined not to let him get away and luckily I managed to catch him quite quickly. All I did then was grab hold of him until the police arrived.
"Afterwards I realised that it could have been very dangerous, but when something like this happens you just act on instinct. I'm just glad he was caught and that the police got there so quickly. Now it's up to the courts to do the right thing."
The council's deputy leader and environment spokesman Jonathan Cook said: "The whole community owes Mr Davis a great debt of gratitude for his courageous actions.
"Many people would shrink away from intervening in the kind of violent episode that he was confronted with, but he was not cowed and did not back away from going to the victim's assistance.
"I am delighted that he is now being recommended for a police bravery award. I think he fully deserves one."