A courageous bobby from Sheffield who wrestled with a gunman threatening to shoot him with a sawn-off shotgun has been nominated for a national bravery award.
Sergeant Chris Foster, based at Ecclesfield police station, confronted the thug after he was reported for beating up another man with a baseball bat in the dead of night.
When he arrived at the scene and spotted the weapons Sgt Foster, who was a police constable at the time, tried to use his incapacitant spray to overpower the offender – but the canister failed to work.
The officer then battled to restrain the man until back-up arrived.
Today’s other top stories:
The firearm, which turned out to be fake, was pointed at him and Sgt Foster was warned he would be shot dead during the incident on Peel Street, Barnsley, in January 2013.
Sgt Foster, who five years earlier suffered multiple leg fractures when he intervened in a mass brawl in August 2008, said he had to put the safety of others before his own.
“When he pointed the gun at me and said he was going to kill me it did cross my mind what could happen,” he said.
“But thinking it was a sawn-off shotgun I had to step forward and do what anyone else would have done – protect the public.
“There was an injured man curled up and screaming for help, and there was the offender with a gun and a baseball bat – there was no alternative.
“I am proud of the nomination but I don’t think any police officer would have done anything different.”
The offender went on to be jailed for three years.
Neil Bowles, chairman of South Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “Chris went to an incident in the middle of the night, responding to a radio call and not knowing what he was to come across.
“He was faced with a very aggressive person with what he thought was a shotgun and a baseball bat.
“Without thinking of his own safety he tackled the man to defend a member of the public.
“His response showed the true spirit of policing.
“We all hope we would react in the same way, as it is part of our job and training.
“Police officers attend incidents all the time without knowing exactly what they are likely to face when they arrive at a scene.
“They leave home in the morning not knowing what is going to happen to them that day or even if they will return that night. We are extremely proud of Chris and hopefully he will be recognised for his bravery.”
Sgt Foster had already been honoured by his bosses at a force awards ceremony last December, and has now been put forward for the Police Federation’s annual bravery awards, which recognise those who put their lives on the line to help others.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said Sgt Foster had ‘acted in the best traditions of the police service’ and described him as a ‘credit’ to the force.