Last Sunday, a group of Brasenose undergraduates took the law into their own hands and apprehended three women on suspicion of robbery.
Duncan Morrison, Matthew Osman and ‘Tricky’ Wilson performed a citizens arrest on three woman who had hidden in and later run from Brasenose.
But police later confirmed that no crime had taken place and the women were allowed to go free.
“Their brave vigilante action was all in vain,” said Theo Barclay, a Brasenose third year. “We viewed them as college heroes.”
Thames Valley police confirmed that they had been contacted by a group of international students who were concerned about the theft of a games console, but explained that a misunderstanding appeared to have taken place.
The girls entered Brasenose College, followed by a group of Asian exchange students, one of whom appeared to think they had taken his games console.
There the girls caught the attention of Morrison and Osman, who thought that they were acting suspiciously.
“We saw these pikeys in college trying to find an exit, going up and down stairs and trying to find a way out,” said Wilson.
The group had been led to believe that the girls had taken a games console from one of the exchange students.
“Someone beckoned me over and told me they’d stolen something,” said Wilson. “Someone said this girl had a knife.”
According to Morrison, it was at this point that the girls became rude and he, along with a growing number of students, led the girls from close to the college library to the lodge area. Morrison took the step of asking the duty porter to step in.
The situation escalated and the girls started to act confrontationally towards Morrison. “All I was trying to do was to diffuse the situation and get the poor man’s PSP back”, he said, “it was now that they became a bit more threatening in their behaviour.”
One proceeded to push Duncan Morrison and this led the on duty porter to call the police and shut the college gate in order to stop the girls from fleeing.
At this moment, the gate was opened by two shocked Brasenose students who saw the girls run past them.Morrison, Osman and Wilson gave chase onto the High Street. Morrison then spotted the girls, approached them and placed them under a citizen’s arrest. Wilson found a police officer who arrested the three girls and thanked the trio for their assistance.
However, it later emerged that the police were originally contacted by the exchange students from McDonald’s on Cornmarket Street, and a spokesperson for Thames Valley police outlined that it was their understanding that the students believed a group of three girls had stolen the item.
The spokesman added that it transpired that the owner of the console appeared to have simply misplaced the item, and that since there seemed to have been a misunderstanding about the incident, no further action would be taken by the police.
On being told that no theft had taken place, ‘Tricky’ Wilson said that he felt “a bit hollow”.
“I feel very conned,” he said, “conned by all of them.”
But Brasenose students still praised Duncan Morrison’s spontaneous actions.
Charlie Marr, a first year History undergraduate, commented, “Duncan displayed chivalrous, brave and courageous behaviour and deserves all the praise he can get.”
Morrison explained that he “simply thought that it was the right thing to do.” He added that he was enjoying the praise of his fellow students and that it “was all in a day’s work”.