Saturday, 24 August 2019

Man thanked for tackling girl with knife

Man thanked for tackling girl with knife

A MAN has been thanked by the police after he helped rescue a woman being threatened with a knife.

George Greenaway, 21, from Henley, and a friend wrestled the female teenage attacker to the ground and restrained her until police arrived.

The incident happened while he and his girlfriend Becky Stevens were visiting friends Jack Cottrell and his girlfriend Isabel Case in Devizes last month.

They were sitting in a pub beer garden on a Saturday afternoon when they heard a commotion and he and Mr Cottrell went to investigate.

Mr Greenaway, who works in sales for a software company, said: “We went to see what was going on and there were people shouting, ‘she’s got a knife, she’s got a knife’.

“At this point we couldn’t really see what was going on. No one really knew what was happening. Jack and I went in the direction people were pointing.” Then the pair saw a middle-aged woman being threatened by the younger woman in the street.

Mr Greenaway said: “The older woman was distressed — she was crying and screaming for help, which was quite upsetting to see because my mum is of a similar age.

“There were a lot of people standing at the end of the street watching.

“The younger woman had the knife in her hand and was making a swinging motion.

“We were about 100 yards away. We just went up behind her, grabbed an arm each, restrained her and put her on the ground and laid on top of her.

“When she was on the floor we asked her if she had anything on her and she said she had the knife. It was in her pocket at that point and we took it off her.”

A bystander called the police and while Mr Greenaway and Mr Cottrell waited with the offender, other people comforted the older woman.

Officers arrived five minutes later and handcuffed the teenager before putting her in the back of a police car.

Mr Greenaway spoke to the victim before he left and gave her a hug as well as leaving his mobile phone number with her.

He and Mr Cottrell then had to visit the police station and give statements before returning to their girlfriends at the pub.

“We got there and the landlord gave us a free pint,” he said.

The following week he received the letter from Wiltshire chief constable Kier Pritchard thanking him.

It said: “I wanted to write to personally thank you for stepping forward, chasing and helping to detain this young juvenile in Devizes.

“Not only did you help to ensure this girl was arrested (and charged with an offence) you did so knowing she was in possession of a knife. Thank you.”

Mr Greenaway, who lives with his parents Trevor and Dawn and brothers Monty and Harvey, said: “It was very obvious that something needed to be done otherwise it was going to end badly.

“I think if we hadn’t stepped in it could have quickly escalated.

“It was just horrible to see a woman in such distress. I just hope if it was my mum was in that situation someone would do the same sort of thing.

“I’m just happy the situation ended up as it did and the woman is okay and the other one is in custody.

“If I see something going on and I have the ability to help I would by all means. As long as I wasn’t putting myself in extreme danger I would always help someone else in need.”

Mrs Greenaway said: “Although it is worrying that George took it upon himself to help the lady being attacked, I would hope that somebody would do the same for me if I was in that position.  

“It is very typical of George to think of others before himself. He’s a wonderful young man.”

Ms Stevens added: “I was amazed at George’s bravery and was so proud of how heroic he was."

A 16-year-old female has been charged with robbery and threatening a person with a knife and appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on July 22. She is due to appear again on August 22.

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