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Armed Robber Throws Police Officer Out Of Car In Escape Bid

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Armed Robber Throws Police Officer Out Of Car In Escape Bid

An armed robber has been jailed for 14 years after he raided a petrol station and dragged a police officer out of a patrol car.

Owen Smith was attempting to flee the Esso Garage in Horsham, Sussex, on 6 July, when he pulled PC Ellie Young from the driving seat of the police car and threw her to the ground.

Credit: Sussex Police
Credit: Sussex Police

The 29-year-old then tried to drive away in the vehicle, but PC Young, three other officers and members of the public helped to stop him as the car slowly rolled backwards. Smith, of no fixed address, was then tasered and arrested.

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In August, he pleaded guilty to assault by beating a police constable, possession of an offensive weapon, robbery and taking a police vehicle without consent.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison in Hove Crown Court yesterday.

Credit: Sussex Police
Credit: Sussex Police

Smith and an accomplice stormed the Tesco Express store at the petrol station at around 12.30am, wearing balaclavas and armed with baseball bats. They then stole cash, cigarettes and alcohol from the shop.

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By chance, PC Young and PC Vicky Canales were carrying out a routine patrol in the area as the robbery unfolded. Smith then spotted the car pulling into the forecourt and sprinted towards it, before dragging PC Young from the driver's seat. PC Young sustained injuries to her arms, legs, shoulder and neck during the assault, but was still able to assist in detaining Smith.

The officers had already called for assistance prior to the attempted car-jacking and within seconds of Smith entering the vehicle, three additional officers had arrived at the scene.

Smith's accomplice ran away and has not yet been caught by police.

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Detective Chief Inspector, Justina Beeken, praised the officers and members of the public who helped to catch the robber.

She said: "Watching the CCTV of Owen Smith attacking our officers is absolutely harrowing, not least due to the ferocity of the attack, and I commend the officers' bravery and commitment that evening in arresting him.

"No officer should be attacked while doing their job and I am thankful that no officers were more seriously hurt.

"I also commend those members of the public and officers who ran to their colleagues' assistance, trying to prevent Smith from getting away from the scene, without a moment's thought for their own safety.

"Smith's behaviour has also had an impact on those working in the Tesco Express that evening who were also threatened while going about their job."

Featured Image Credit: Sussex Police

Topics: Police, robber

Jake Massey
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