A Dorset Police officer, who managed to apprehend and arrest a man who was threatening her with a stun gun to her head, has been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards.
On 6 March 2019, Dorset Police received calls that there was a drunk man walking around in the road in Dorchester, clearly under the influence and with another man.
PC Natalie Skinner and her colleague PC Anthony Elswood, both from Dorchester Neighbourhood Policing Team, arrived at the incident. Another colleague, PC Mark Powell, had arrived just before them; the two men had seen him and run off.
PC Skinner got out of her police vehicle and could see the men running away. She approached the man nearest to her, who had previously been arrested for the offences of assault and drug supply.
PC Skinner instructed the man to remain where he was, shouting “It’s the police, stop where you are.” But he continued running, so PC Skinner pursued him on foot. After a brief chase, he stumbled and slipped over. He immediately got back up and PC Skinner again instructed him to stay where he was.
As the man scrambled to his feet, PC Skinner saw him pull something from his jacket. She saw that it was an item with a large black handle with a grip indentation, which she thought might be a large combat knife.
PC Skinner drew her Taser. The man kept running, but she shouted that she was a Taser-trained officer and that he had to stop where he was.
As PC Skinner began to catch up with him, she managed to grab his arm. The man turned to face PC Skinner and she saw that he was holding a stun gun device in his other hand, which he raised towards her.
They were less than a metre apart and the man was towering over her, with the two metal prongs of the stun gun visible and close to PC Skinner’s head. The man swung the device towards her.
PC Skinner fired her Taser, but it wasn’t successful and she saw the probe fly past him. She was then able to create some distance and fire the Taser again, at which point the man was incapacitated and fell backwards.
PC Skinner arrested the man for possession of a prohibited weapon and possession with intent to supply controlled drugs. A number of tablets were recovered from the scene. The other man who ran off was detained by officers and was also arrested for assault and drug possession.
The individual has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing.
Dorset Police Federation Chair James Dimmack said: “Natalie apprehended this dangerous man, even though she knew he had a weapon of some kind.
“To continue to chase him and then grab him when he was armed was incredibly courageous.
“She fully deserves this award nomination and I thank her for getting this man off our streets and keeping the public safe.”