Shocking footage shows drunken Sunderland man abusing emergency workers trying to help him
A senior police officer has condemned the actions of a drunken thug who attacked a cop and a paramedic as they tried to offer him their help.
Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt has welcomed the custodial sentence handed to Martin Pace after he violently assaulted the emergency workers.
Police and paramedics had been called to Summerhill in Sunderland in April after the 35-year-old had been found passed out in the middle of the day.
Upon their arrival he began to regain consciousness but when they attempted to provide him with medical attention he started to behave in an aggressive manner.
PC Luke Baker, who had only been qualified as a police officer for 18 months, soon recognised Pace as someone who had been reported as missing from supported accommodation.
But as he and his colleagues from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) tried to offer help to an intoxicated Pace, he became abusive and tried to walk away.
Knowing that he couldn’t allow the drunken thug to leave and abuse other members of the public, PC Baker was left with no choice but to arrest him for being drunk and disorderly.
But as he went to apprehend Pace, the thug threw the officer to the ground, climbed on top of him and grabbed his hair as shocked residents watched on.
A paramedic quickly came to the officer’s aid and was able to temporarily restrain the attacker, only for Pace to grab the officer’s baton from his belt.
Body worn footage was played to the court that showed Pace swinging the baton at the officers and paramedics while attempting to bite them in a bid to escape.
He was eventually sprayed with PAVA gas, allowing PC Baker to restrain him until back-up arrived to take the drunken thug into police custody.
At the time of the offence, the 35-year-old was subject to a community order for spitting at a police officer who had responded to a report of him loitering in Sunderland city centre wearing just his boxers.
Chief Supt Pitt praised the professionalism of PC Baker and the paramedics who supported him, while also condemning the actions of the drunken thug.
“Unfortunately assault on front line workers are taking place far too regularly and I am glad the courts have at least seen it fit to hand down a custodial sentence in this case,” said Chief Supt Pitt.
“Nobody deserves to be attacked while trying to keep their communities safe and when I reviewed the body worn footage I was disgusted by the actions of Martin Pace.
“I do want to take this opportunity to praise the professionalism and bravery PC Baker showed throughout this incident.
He certainly acted with the integrity that we are proud to see in an officer of Northumbria Police.
“I also want to extend our thanks to the paramedics from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) who also intervened and equally do not deserve to be subjected to violence while trying to offer their help.”
PC Baker, who is based at Southwick Police Station, added: “This offender had been abusive and acting in a disorderly manner so when he refused our help I couldn’t let him leave the area and go on to commit further criminal offences.
“When he turned on me, it was intimidating. He was able to get on top of me and pin me to the ground. Thankfully the paramedics were there to assist me.
“This all took place in the middle of a quiet residential street and there were a number of people in the area. I’m just glad that nobody was injured, including some witnesses who tried to help me detain him.
“I obviously never expect to be assaulted when I’m trying to offer my support but unfortunately assaults like this are not rare. I’m just glad to see this particular offender put behind bars.”
Alan Gallagher, head of risk and regulatory services at North East Ambulance Service, said: “No-one comes to work expecting to be assaulted, nor should they have to – and especially not from the very people they are there to help and protect.