Widower complains of '˜police brutality' from off-duty cop in Bedford

A 60-year-old widower has complained of police brutality after he criticised an off duty officer for driving recklessly.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 9:25 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:44 am

Computer repairman Steve Walters claims the young officer retaliated by forcing him in an arm lock, slamming him to the ground and then sitting on him.

He also arrested Steve and caused him to be locked in a police cell for five hours.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was in a state of shock and still dazed from where my head hit the floor. It was like something you see on TV, not in real life.”

The drama started when Steve, who lives in Marston Moretaine, was driving along the A421 early on Tuesday morning.

“A car cut me and several other vehicles up at the Kempston roundabout. The driver seemed a maniac, racing to get to the front of the queue.”

Steve says he was so concerned the driver was putting lives in danger that he got out of his car to have a word with him when he stopped at a pelican crossing.

He admits he said “ a few expletives” and, when the driver waved him away patronisingly, slapped his open hand against the wing mirror in frustration.

“Immediately the driver shot out of his car, ripped off his jacket like Superman and told me was a police officer and I was under arrest.

“He got me in an armlock against his car so forcefully that my feet left the ground, then he hooked my legs and slammed me head first into the Tarmac. He then knelt on my back with both knees.”

A second officer was called and Steve was taken to the police station. Police documented his injuries – a cut and bruising to his hand, bump on his head and bruised ribs.

After five hours he was released with no charge – on the condition that he pays for a new wing mirror for the officer’s car under a ‘community resolution agreement.

“The mirror already had previous damage, but he said I’d caused a tiny new crack. I agreed to pay just to get away,” said Steve, an asthmatic who has never been in trouble with police before.

“I lead a quiet life. I’m no threat to anybody. I sit in front of a computer all day so I’m hardly a muscleman.”

He has now put in an official complaint about the officer’s “brutal” behaviour.

A Beds police spokesman confirmed the arrest was on suspicion of criminal damage and said: “We are aware that the man arrested has subsequently made a complaint to us which will be assessed in due course.”