Officer grappled with knife-wielding thug after movie-style incident in Kentish Town

PS Lee Stapleton. Picture: Polly Hancock

PS Lee Stapleton. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Polly Hancock

A courageous police officer was forced to grapple with a knife-wielding thug – after his attempts to disarm the man without a fight were unwittingly foiled by his colleagues.

A large man carrying a 14-inch kitchen knife was threatening motorists in Caversham Road, Kentish Town, when Sgt Lee Stapleton arrived on the scene in April.

The officer approached from behind and saw that the knife was in the man’s back pocket, but just as he snuck up to grab it, his police radio started blaring.

Speaking at the police commendations, Ch Insp Penny Mills said it was “the sort of thing you see in the movies”.

She added: “As he approached the male, someone called up on the radio. It’s the last thing you need and the suspect turned to face him.”


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Sgt Stapleton sprayed the man with CS gas but to no avail. Ch Insp Mills continued: “He then pushed the suspect against a street sign pole and forced him to the floor, enabling him to secure the knife and the suspect safely.”

The man proved to have a history of violence and was ultimately jailed for six months.

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Sgt Stapleton was commended for his professionalism and bravery at the ceremony at Camden Town Hall on Friday.

He said: “It just became a bit of a fight of wills more than anything.£

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