Following a motorbike chase, eight police officers were covered in petrol. As they tried to make an arrest in Basildon, Essex last May.
Eight officers doused in petrol: They were talking about the horrific incident for a BBC program called Critical Incident, that was broadcast on Monday evening. The officers had been pursuing a motorbike that was being ridden dangerously in Canvey Island,. Near to the scene of the incident.
After chasing the motorbike for miles, with the aid of a police helicopter, they managed to pull it over to make an arrest. Which attracted a large crowd. They found them doused in petrol when a man in the crowd ran forward and threw it on them. And they could hear people shouting “light them up” and “whose got matches”?
Earlier, in the incident, a total of 90 officers were called to help out their colleagues. Two of the officers were treated in hospital for digestion of the fuel. One of the officers, PC Andrew Bird, recalled the incident by saying. “Out of the corner of my eye I saw a gentleman appear from down one of the alleyways.”
The man was just sprinting full speed towards where we were.
He said that he managed to grab the man and they both fell to the ground. He went on to say “I was pretty much at the bottom of the pile,” said PC Bird. “You’ve got officers trying to get him off of me. He had his arms wrapped round my legs trying to keep hold of me.”
It was as I was trying to control this gentleman who had run out of the middle of nowhere that this other chap has appeared with a watering can. One of PC Bird’s colleagues, PC Matthew Cutts, said that, although he couldn’t see what was in the watering can, he suspected it could of been acid. He said “I could smell petrol. So I sort of fumbled around to get my baton out. But once I’ve got it I’ve put it behind my head and just struck him in line with my training.”
It’s not a random act of violence, It’s a controlled measure that we are taught to use to get people away from us. Until the fire services arrived residents in the area helped the officers to wash off the petrol. The man who threw the petrol, Justin Jackson, 28, was jailed for three years and nine months. The rider of the motorbike, who was just 17 and from Basildon, was fined for dangerous driving and disqualified for a year.
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