I’m no hero – Islington cop who tackled samurai sword attacker

Sgt Steve Brown who tackled samurai sword wielding attacker

Sgt Steve Brown who tackled samurai sword wielding attacker - Credit: Archant

He’s faced villains with firearms, rescued a child from a burning building and run cars off the road. But when Sgt Steve Brown tackled a samurai sword-wielding ­maniac on December 24 last year, he thought it was his final Christmas.

Ahla Timofei, 26, attacked a young woman on Holloway Road and was roaming the streets with knives, two swords and a crossbow. Sgt Brown caught him on Tufnell Park Road, Holloway, disarming him using his baton and CS spray.

Timofei will spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital after being found guilty of attempted murder and affray.

Sgt Brown said: “I was running full pelt at him and he turned around and raised the sword straight up in the air.

“He swung downwards and the sword missed my neck by about a foot.

“I stepped back and said ‘put the sword down’, but he didn’t listen and took a few more swings. After spraying him he went to scratch his eye and I thought, I’ve got to do this now. I rushed in and he raised his sword again but I hit his arm as many times as I could and managed to jump on top of him and the cavalry arrived.

“I could see in his eyes he wanted to kill me. I wasn’t going to see Christmas: I thought my luck had run out.”

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A member of the public had seen the attack in which a 22-year-old student lost her thumb and received cuts to her face, legs and arms.

Sgt Brown said: “I have no doubt that he wasn’t going to stop until he killed someone that night and I also have no doubt that any cop would have done the same.

“I’m not a hero: the real hero is the member of the public who went above and beyond and followed him, having seen what he had done.”

Sgt Brown met both the victim of the attack and the member of the public for the first time at the Islington Police Commendation Awards on Tuesday.