Case study: Surrey - held hostage by knifeman

PC Colette StonerPC Colette Stoner faced a terrifying situation when a man attempted to hold her hostage with a kitchen knife.

The officer was called to a house where the occupant claimed to have been burgled. Initially, he came to the door with a large dog, but agreed to put it away so that the officer could enter.

Once inside, PC Stoner got her first inkling that things were not right when she noticed the TV was on but not tuned to a channel and the room was dark. The suspect refused to sit and then pulled out a large kitchen knife that he had concealed.

PC Stoner said: “In that moment, you go into frozen in the headlights mode, but I thought I’ve got my children to think of and I’m not going down without a fight.”

She backed up, activated her panic button and used her gas to subdue her would-be attacker. She heard later that he was an ex-army man with post-trauma and alcohol issues, and had been intent on taking a police officer hostage that day.

PC Stoner, who won a bravery award due to the incident, initially failed to appreciate how much it had affected her. She tried to go straight back to work but ended up writing her car off the next day. She was signed off work by her GP.
Although she escaped physical injury on that occasion, recently she was bitten by a drug user who claimed to have AIDS. Thankfully, the claim turned out to be false.

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