TWO hero police officers who stopped a man doused in petrol from setting himself alight in a play park are up for a bravery award.
Children and a woman were running screaming from College Park in Copnor Road, Copnor, when PCs Michael Nol and Steven Males arrived.
The officers found the man standing with a lighter in one hand and a jerry can in the other. He was covered in petrol and threatening to kill himself.
PC Nol said: ‘He was just stood in the path in front of everybody. We could smell the fumes – the smell hit you like a wall. We both ran over. Steve grabbed his hand with the lighter in it and I kind of rugby-tackled both of them. It was mainly the lighter we were concerned about. He had it near his hair and was trying to flick it. We were both covered in petrol.
‘I don’t know how it didn’t go off.’
PC Males took the lighter from the man, and other officers who were called to the park handcuffed him.
Then PC Nol had to put solution in the man’s eyes to flush out the petrol while a paramedic checked his vital signs. He was taken to hospital for checks following the terrifying incident at about 11.30am in April last year.
Now Hampshire Police Federation has nominated them in the Police Bravery Awards. Chairman John Apter said: ‘PC Nol and PC Males reacted instinctively to save the life of a member of the public. In doing so they put their own lives at risk. I have no doubt that their actions saved the man’s life. They are a credit to the service.’
Hampshire Constabulary Chief Constable, from whom the officers received a commendation, said: ‘They are a credit to the service and I am very proud of them’.
The pair will meet Prime Minister David Cameron at Number 10 before the awards ceremony, run by Police Mutual and The Sun newspaper, at London’s Savoy hotel on July 7. Hampshire Police Federation is footing the bill.