Hero cops honoured after gang war bloodbath at Finsbury milkshake bar
TWO heroic cops who saved the life of a stabbed youth as he lay dying inside a packed milkshake bar have been honoured for their bravery.
Police Constables Dipesh Randerwala and Leona Nield were hailed by the borough’s police chief at a commendation ceremony at the Honourable Artillery Company barracks, in City Road, Finsbury, on Monday.
The quick-thinking duo were first on the scene following a horrific stabbing in all-night American diner Tinseltown, in St John Street, Finsbury, in February this year. They found more than 100 panicked revellers screaming and crowding round a young black man as he lay in a pool of his own blood.
PC Randerwala, 30, said: “He was 23 or 24. Someone said he’d been stabbed but they wouldn’t say any more. He was drenched in blood. He was slipping in and out of consciousness and had been stabbed in the chest under the armpit.
“We used everything that was available to us to try to stem the flow of blood. Towels, napkins, anything we could get our hands on. It was a radio blackspot and we were still trying to get the crowd back and under control.
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“Every time he came back into consciousness he tried to get up and run away. He thought the people who stabbed him were still there and we had to pin him down. It was raining hard outside, so we were wearing waterproofs. We had to bin them afterwards because they were completely bloodied.”
PC Nield, 35, said: “It was confusing. At first he was saying he didn’t want any treatment, even though he needed it. A lot of people were trying to get involved. One of them could have been the person who stabbed him, we didn’t know.”
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When paramedics arrived at the scene 10 minutes later, PC Randerwala and PC Nield jumped in the ambulance as it rushed the dying man to University College Hospital, in Euston.
PC Nield said: “He was hanging on to us saying ‘don’t let me die’. I was with his mum at the hospital but he didn’t want her to see him. Some of the people he mixed with were a bad crowd. It’s nice to get the recognition because often we don’t.”
PC Randerwala, who has spent three years on the beat in Islington, added: “Your initial reaction is shock. You see a guy covered in his own blood but something kicks in and you go into auto pilot. Islington opened my eyes to some of the realities.”
The injured man eventually made a full recovery following the gang-related stabbing.
A 27-year-old man was charged with causing actual bodily harm in May this year, but the case was later dismissed at court.
PC Randerwala’s wife Anita, 30, who is expecting the couple’s first baby next month, said: “I’m very proud. He doesn’t always tell me these stories because it’s not the best job in the world in terms of safety. Otherwise I couldn’t sleep!”
Islington’s borough commander, Chief Superintendent Mike Wise, paid tribute to the “massive bravery and commitment” of his officers and heroic members of the public, saying: “It’s quite mind-bowing some of tales we have heard here tonight. The people of Islington don’t often here about this. We don’t underestimate the fantastic work you do.”
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