Yesterday, as a driver ploughed a car through pedestrians in Melbourne, most onlookers stood frozen in shock and panic. Their shopping bags and ice creams and phone conversations immediately forgotten in fear.
“We didn’t know what was going on,” one witness told the ABC. There were people injured, bleeding on the pavement. Others were running, desperately trying to escape the scene.
But one man, who’d been hit and injured by the rogue vehicle, did something completely different.
He was hurt and scared and without any backup, but he was also an off-duty police officer. And, without worrying about his injuries or the potential imminent danger, he descended on and arrested the alleged man behind the wheel.
Now, as he lies in hospital alongside 18 other wounded, this off-duty police officer (who has remained unidentified) is being hailed a hero by the public and his colleagues alike.
"To step in when you see that trauma, not understanding what the threat is, and take somebody into custody not knowing what he is risking himself — it is heroic," Acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton told the ABC.
Remembering that only moments before he "stepped in", he too had been struck down by the white vehicle travelling too fast by a driver who, police say, was deliberately aiming to cause harm.
Off-duty cop praised for rampaging Melbourne driver arrest https://t.co/rUdKbF7Pa4
— #aupol news (@AupolNews) December 21, 2017