‘My adrenaline was flowing’: How hero shopper helped police officer who was being attacked

PC Dan Chilvers was attacked by a man on Haymarkey in Norwich on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Matt Cos

PC Dan Chilvers was attacked by a man on Haymarkey in Norwich on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Matt Cossey - Credit: Archant

A shopper who stepped in to restrain a man who was attacking an injured police officer has revealed what spurred him to jump in.

Matt Cossey and other shoppers helped restrain a man who was attacking a police officer in Norwich.

Matt Cossey and other shoppers helped restrain a man who was attacking a police officer in Norwich. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Matt Cossey, 33, had just finished eating lunch with his girlfriend on Norwich Market when he noticed a police officer, PC Dan Chilvers, following a man along Gentleman's Walk.

Within moments of PC Chilvers approaching, Mr Cossey said the man began lashing out, trying to strike the officer.

The 33-year-old said the officer attempted to keep the attacker at bay, but was dragged to the ground and held there.

By this point, Mr Cossey said a small crowd had formed and he was growing concerned that members of the public would also end up harmed.


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Approaching from behind, he locked his arm around the attacker's neck and pulled him away from the officer, while another man restrained his legs.

Mr Cossey, who delivers meals on wheels for Norwich company Good Wholesome Food, said: "I have loads of friends who work as paramedics, and seeing that happen wasn't right.

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"It wasn't like a fight but my adrenaline was flowing. I remember catching eye contact with one woman and we looked at each other like 'what is happening?"

Once up the officer quickly handcuffed the man, helped by those nearby, and police back-up arrived five minutes later.

Despite the commotion, Mr Cossey's girlfriend missed the drama.

Mr Cossey said: "I asked her if she saw it but she was giving some people directions to Primark and missed the whole thing."

Once the attacker was restrained inside the police van, the officers shook Mr Cossey's hand and thanked him for the assistance.

The man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and for assaulting a police officer, who was left with minor injuries.

For Mr Cossey, the incident was surreal, but he said he believed most people would have done the same.

He added: "I wasn't the only one who jumped in and the others deserve praise for what they did too."

Mr Cossey's mum Lisa Snell, who owns the Windmill pub on Knox Road, said she was incredibly proud of her son for "helping a fellow human who was in trouble".

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