A HERO cop fought off a ferocious dog and a knife-wielding thug to make two arrests in less than an hour.
PC Keith Hargreaves was on the beat in Duke Bar when he spotted a wanted criminal and three other men through an open door. He went inside and tried to arrest the man but was attacked by an Alsatian dog leaving his hand bleeding.
Despite the injury, PC Hargreaves managed to fight off the animal and keep hold of the suspect to handcuff him and wait for colleagues to arrive with a police van.
Minutes later, the brave officer was at Burnley General Hospital’s urgent care centre waiting to have his hand stitched when he saw a teenage criminal he recognised with two knives hidden inside his jacket.
Without a thought for his own safety or his injured hand, he wrestled the weapons from the man’s grasp and arrested him in front of 20 terrified patients.
Last week PC Hargreaves, who has been in the force for 16 years, was presented with a commendation for his actions from Chief Supt Clive Tattum at Burnley Police Station.
But the modest dad of two grown-up sons insisted he was just doing his job when the incidents happened in April last year.
“It’s just instinct. In your right mind you wouldn’t really go into a room with four males. I didn’t know about the dog until I was in there. I don’t think I was brave. It comes naturally, you act first then think about it afterwards. It sounds corny but that’s what we are there for, to protect the public.”
PC Hargreaves (53), who lives in Ightenhill, has received commendations before but said the latest accolade was one of the highlights of his career.
He said, looking back, he could have been more seriously injured.
“Obviously at the hospital there were women and children, It could have been much worse. I don’t know why he had taken the knives into the hospital.
“He kicked off a bit and I struggled but managed to overcome him and got the knives.
“I think a lot of the people in the waiting room wondered what I was doing because they couldn’t see the knives.
“But afterwards one or two came outside and congratulated me. I got them off him then radioed for a van to take him to the police station. Then I got stitched up and went back to work.
“I’m pleased and proud to have been presented with the commendation but at the end of the day I was just doing my job.”