South Yorks - brutally attacked by violent thug

Sergeant Richard Pettican

Sergeant Richard Pettican

A South Yorkshire police officer has been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award after being brutally attacked by a violent thug.

Police had received a call that a car and phone had been stolen at knifepoint.

After crashing the car and running off, the two suspects had been tracked down to a nearby narrow alleyway. An officer heard a radio transmission from Sgt Richard Pettican telling a man to put his hands in the air and stay put. The transmissions continued and were getting louder and more urgent, before stopping, with Sgt Pettican not responding to calls.

The officer searched for Sgt Pettican and spotted one of the suspects leaning against a gate, before detaining him. Unable to get through the gate, she looked through the slats and into the alleyway, spotting a man in a “boxer’s stance” who was punching Sgt Pettican in the head.

The officer pressed her emergency button for assistance, before returning back to the other officers but could still see Sgt Pettican. He was lying on the floor on his side covered in blood, with a knife on the floor in the alleyway.

Sgt Pettican attempted to grab the man, but a scuffle ensued and the officer was assaulted again. The man took the officer’s handcuffs and used them as a knuckle duster to repeatedly hit Sgt Pettican’s head, while he tried to get up to detain the thug.  Other officers arrived but not before Sgt Pettican had been repeatedly hit by the offender.

Sgt Pettican received several deep cuts and bumps to his head and body which were swollen, with the cuts needing staples to close them. It is no doubt due to his actions that morning that these men were arrested and his personal tenacity and bravery very likely prevented further offences against the public taking place.

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