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'I'm not Mr Muscley or a have-a-go-hero' says Green Party chief
WHEN David Williams spotted a suspect running away from police officers he did not think twice about tackling the man himself.
The quick-thinking Oxford Green Party leader saw the police chase when he was walking down Magdalen Road with his wife Alison.
The couple had just met with a constituent in the Magic Cafe and were heading towards Iffley Road at about 12.30pm when they walked into the drama.
Mr Williams, city councillor for Iffley Fields, said: “A young man came running towards us in the middle of the road at high speed pursued by a policeman.
“He was obviously pulling away from the policeman. I put my shoulder into the young man to stop him.
“Stunned by the impact he swerved and tried to climb over the bonnet of a car. I grabbed his leg but he struggled free and tried to make a dash for Sidney Street.”
The grandfather-of-two said he had to push Mrs Williams out of the way before tackling the suspect, who was being shouted at by officers to stop, outside Oxfork cafe on Friday.
The Headington 63-year-old, a manager of an education consultancy, said: “He was outpacing the policeman. Unless something had happened he would have got away.
“He was a fit young man, the policeman, but this lad was even fitter, he was a runner.
“He was someone running from the police and had to be stopped.”
Art teacher Mrs Williams, 62, said: “It was just quite a surprise because you don’t expect things like that.
“David said ‘move over there’ and he jumped to the side and blocked this bloke.”
Police officers managed to grab the man they had been chasing outside Giovanni’s hairdressers, on the corner of Sidney Street.
Mr Williams, who has been a city councillor for seven years, said he has never done anything like this before: “It is just instinct really. With a policeman behind him, he has to be stopped.
“He ran straight into me and rolled on to the bonnet.
“We just happened to be there.”
He added: “It was out of the blue. I am not ‘Mr Muscley’ or a have-a-go hero. The officer phoned me up on Sunday and thanked me. They said it was very good of me to do that.”
Mr Williams’s actions were praised by police. Detective Inspector Pauline Heilbron, from Oxford CID, said: “I am pleased that on this occasion due to help from a member of the public we were able to make a quick arrest of a suspect.
“To be able to police the area well, we need the public’s support and value and encourage any help and assistance that they can give us. However, we do not want anyone to ever put themselves at risk by doing this.”
Police said they initially arrested 22-year-old Lance Heaver on suspicion of possession of a class B drug with intent to supply. He has been bailed by them until April 16 while the investigation continues.
Heaver, of The Grates in Cowley, was charged with possession of a weapon for the discharge of noxious liquid/gas and appeared before magistrates on Saturday. He will appear again on April 9.