St Catz student praised for “heroic” behaviour in police chase

Student Jake Quinn tackled one of the fugitives in a car chase which ended on Merton's sports ground

The scene after the fugitive is caught. Photo: Jake Quinn

St Catherine’s College student Jake Quinn has been praised as “heroic” for his efforts in tackling one of the fleeing men after a high speed police chase yesterday which ended on Merton College sports ground.

Two men were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the chase, just after 11.45am, with a third man arrested later.

Speaking to Cherwell, Quinn, a third year biologist, said: “I saw a car turning really quickly into Manor Road and I thought: ‘Wow, that’s pretty fast.’

“I saw a police car turning in very quickly after that and I thought, ‘there could be something interesting here’, so I turned around and followed them.”

Quinn added: “Police chases have occurred there before—there was one last year—and I basically sprint-cycled down the road.

“I kind of presumed that they’d go into Merton-Mansfield [sports ground] because it is behind Catz, with a road accessing it.” Quinn said he saw the fleeing men jump from their car once it hit a dead end.

He described how he “jumped off [his] bike, sprinted down and basically rugby tackled him into the ground.”

Following the assistance that Quinn gave to the police, which included holding the man while he was being handcuffed, he said that attention turned to “another man [who] was largely on the loose—he ran off into another direction, towards the [river] Cherwell in the forest. Then, they got a chopper out and they got more units in there—there were about seven units by the end of it and they got the dogs and about 15-20 minutes later they managed to get the other man.”

Of his instinct to assist the police in this situation, Quinn said: “I do like watching Police Interceptors so this is quite a fulfilling thing for me.”

Chris Rawlings, a second year Economics and Management student at Catz, told Cherwell: “It was just a little intense with a police helicopter, seven cars, and dog teams who had been deployed to hunt the third guy that had escaped.”

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Another Catz student, geographer Alex Curtis, said: “I saw a couple of men running away from police officers on the field in front of my window, who were quickly apprehended. The whole event was rather exciting to watch.”

Thames Valley Police have been contacted for comment.