Police officer who Tasered knife-wielding man in Staple Hill commended for his 'selfless courage'

January 27 2021
Police officer who Tasered knife-wielding man in Staple Hill commended for his 'selfless courage'

AN "incredibly brave" police officer who brought down a man armed with several knives at flats in Staple Hill has been commended by the chief constable.

PC Chris Wright was one of the first officers on the scene following an emergency call to an incident at Pleasant House in Pleasant Road in June last year.

When he arrived, 41-year-old David Wilkie, who was armed with three knives, was in a communal walkway.

Avon and Somerset police said PC Wright took command of the situation, asked colleagues to ensure residents went back inside their homes and called for armed back-up.

But before support could arrive, Wilkie rushed down the stairs to confront PC Wright and his three colleagues.

Footage from PC Wright's body-worn video camera shows one of the knives (circled) as Wilkie confronted him

As he approached them wielding the knives, PC Wright drew his Taser stun gun and told Wilkie to stop but he continued to approach the police.

PC Wright then fired the Taser "because of the continuing risk posed to officers and the public and the fact the man continued to walk towards him aggressively", bringing Wilkie to the ground, where other officers kicked the knives away from his reach and put him in handcuffs.

Wilkie, of Brigstocke Road, St Paul's, was arrested and later charged with affray, possession of a bladed article, common assault and criminal damage. He was jailed for a year the following month.

PC Wright (below), who has been an officer for 16 years, has been promoted to sergeant since the incident.

He said: “In all my years of service, this is the first time I’ve actually thought 'I’m in trouble here', but we are well trained in how to deal with scenarios like this, and thankfully the training kicked in.

I was worried about my colleagues, as none of them were equipped with Taser and they didn’t have time to flee. I told them to get back into the car but he came down the stairs too quickly. Thankfully the Taser worked and nobody was injured.

Once it was over it did hit home and it made me reflect on what happened.

I’m honoured to receive the commendation. It was nice to be recognised but I also want to point out that my colleagues are out there putting themselves in harm’s way every day.”

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “This was an incredibly brave officer who put himself in the line of danger to keep the public safe.

Sgt Wright was calm and measured when faced with a threatening and aggressive armed man, and used all of his training and experience to engage with the suspect, before using his Taser when all other options had been exhausted.

"After the Taser was discharged, he kept talking to the man and made sure he was given the appropriate after-care.

He fully deserves this commendation which is in recognition of his selfless courage in what was clearly an extremely volatile situation.”

 

Above: An officer kicks backwards, moving a knife out of Wilkie's reach as he lies on the floor, still being shocked by the Taser.

Top: Wilkie rushes towards PC wright outside Pleasant House flats in Staple Hill

You can see the video of the incident here.