A Metropolitan Police officer who caught a suspect he saw stab a man to death is “humbled” at receiving a top bravery award.
Sergeant Matthew Ebbs (PC at the time) was working in plain clothes to target reports of local drug dealing. He was on his way to join colleagues when he saw two men in an apparent argument, before one produced a 12 inch carving knife and stabbed the other.
Without any thought for his own safety Sgt Ebbs confronted the suspect and identified himself as a police officer. The still-armed man initially ran at the officer, before he turned and ran away.
Sgt Ebbs chased him, where the man threw the murder weapon over a railway bridge onto the tracks below. After some distance Sgt Ebbs detained and arrested the suspect. Sadly, despite the efforts of members of the public, police officers and ambulance staff, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Sgt Ebbs has since been awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation for bravery.
Sgt Ebbs, said: “The incident happened so quickly and after witnessing the attack I was faced with a man brandishing a knife running towards me and members of the public. My police training and instinct led me to confront and chase him, but it was heartening that members of public tried to save the victim and I am grateful that a passing cyclist, unaware of what had happened or the risks involved, bravely offered his help to me whilst I struggled with the suspect”.
He added: “I am humbled to have been awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation for bravery, but I have no doubt that I acted in the same way that many of my colleagues would have, doing what was right at the time to protect the public”.
The Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “I am proud to be able to recognise Matt’s bravery with a Commendation. He acted without a thought for his own safety, after a considerable foot chase and a violent struggle, arresting him. That Matt was in plain clothes made the whole episode more dangerous and he showed courage, quick thinking and great professionalism”.
The suspect was sentenced to life imprisonment.