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Have-a-go solicitor makes citizen's arrest

PUBLISHED: 15:27 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:14 07 September 2010

Katie Davies A solicitor's Belsize Park birthday celebrations turned out even more memorable after he caught a mugger. Xabier De Beristain Humphrey, now 32, was in The Washington pub in England s Lane on Saturday night. The fireworks, however, really got

Katie Davies

A solicitor's Belsize Park birthday celebrations turned out even more memorable after he caught a mugger.

Xabier De Beristain Humphrey, now 32, was in The Washington pub in England's Lane on Saturday night. The fireworks, however, really got going when a mugger attempted to take the handbag of one of his friends.

The solicitor decided the mugger wasn't going to escape the long arm of the law.

"We had been celebrating my birthday having a picnic on Primrose Hill and decided to pop into the Washington for a drink around 10pm," he said.

"Some guy came out of the toilets and was looking around and took my friend's bag off the back of her chair.

"One of my friends spotted him walking towards the exit and asked if it was his bag, which clearly it wasn't as it was a lady's handbag.

"He threw the bag into the Washington and started to run off. My friend, who was talking to him, has a dislocated knee so I took over and ran after him."

But the have-a-go hero faced an onslaught of objects from the mugger as he tried to escape through the streets.

"He started throwing things to try to get rid of me," said Mr De Beristain Humphrey.

"He threw a mobile phone and then an open can of lager followed by a pashmina, which he had obviously taken from the handbag.

"It was like something out of a comedy police film.

"I saw him duck into the garden of someone's house and then through the back gate.

"I asked him to come back and, when he didn't, I burst through the gate myself. When I did that, I hit him with the gate on his head. He said, 'Ow, my head' and I felt quite guilty at that point."

But the hero was much happier on returning to his birthday celebrations.

"I went back to the pub and met Terry the owner and he gave us a round on the house," he said.

"Solicitors are obviously the wrong batch of people to accost."

A police spokeswoman said that a man was arrested in the area on the charge of theft.


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