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Nigel Jones - Photographs of a Citizens Arrest

A photographic scoop by Nigel Jones. The sequence of photographs were taken by Nigel 'Professional Photographer' Jones at about 3:30pm on Wednsday 27th August 2003 at College Green near Bristol city centre. The guy being sat upon is believed to be a low life crack head petty thief. For legal reasons (the LLCHPT has not been convicted of any crime yet) his face has been digitally obscured.

Pictures 5 and 8 were sold to the Bristol Evening Post who published picture 5 on page 3 in the morning edition (so now I can claim to be Nigel Jones - Page 3 Photographer!), then the same photo was re-used on the front page of the evening edition on Friday 29th August.

The Scoop Photographs
1. Caught A Thief!
We've Caught A Thief! (photography by Nigel Jones)
2. High Five
High Five (photography by Nigel Jones)
3. Dial 999!
Dial 999! (photography by Nigel Jones)
4. Phoning The Cops
Phoning The Cops (photograph by Nigel Jones)
5. Stay Still You ****!
Stay Still You ****! (photography by Nigel Jones)
6. Come And Get Him
Come And Arrest Him - He Isn't Going Anywhere (photography by Nigel Jones)
7. All Yours Officer
All Yours Officer (photograph by Nigel Jones - photographer)
8. You're Nicked!
You're Nicked (photo by Nigel Jones)
Click on a photographic scoop thumbnail to enlarge the picture

I was sitting on College Green, reading the jobs section of the Evening Post and enjoying the sun when there was a bit of a commotion. Someone shouted something like "thieving crack head"The man whose face is obscured had been chased onto the other side of the green by the man with the crew cut. I noticed also that there were two other men running towards him. He turned to face 'crew cut man' (CCM) shouting "I didn't do anything", then was quickly wrestled to the ground by CCM. At this point in time I thought CCM and his mates were the bad guys and scumbag man (SBM) was about to get beaten up. I didn't fancy my chances of saving SBM's bacon, but I had my camera in my bag and I figured if I could get pictures of their faces I could at least ensure they wouldn't get away with it. By the time the camera was out, and ready to fire the scuffle was over (pic1). CCM has efficiently repressed SBM and blue shirt man is about to shout "we've caught a thief" to someone out of view. I no longer had a clue who the bad guys were so I started taking pictures. Although pic5 looks quite dramatic CCM wasn't smashing SBM's head into the ground he was simply leaning on his head to stop him struggling. In my opinion CCM used the absolute minimum of force required to ensure SBM wouldn't escape before the cops arrived. As you can see CCM has the physique of a paratrooper so if thugery was his intent they would have had to carry SBM away on a stretcher.

As the cops led SBM away someone pointed out a screwdriver that had been dropped apparently by SBM before the scuffle. I'm not sure what his crime was. At the time I assumed he had tried to rob someone in the street, but this was pure speculation. The paper says he was attempting to break into a car and steal some golf clubs, I'm assuming they got this from the cops. So perhaps not that exciting, just a petty criminal probably stealing to feed a crack habit. But its still one less scumbag roaming the streets for a while 8-)

UPDATE:- I have since learned from the newspaper (Monday 1st September) that CCM has a name. He is a 19 year old Marine called Joe Beck. He seems rather embarassed about having his picture in the paper. The headline being "I wasn't that brave". From his point of view his army training made it pretty easy for him to catch scumbag man and hold him until the cops arrived. But it has to be said SBM was armed with a screwdriver and when you chase down a stranger you have no idea how tough he might turn out to be if you catch up with him. For all Joe knew at the time SBM might have tried to stab him with a syringe full of HIV or simply pulled out a gun an shot him.

Anyhow well done Joe, respect, 'yo da man' as they say. And if you want to get in touch I will be only too pleased to buy you a beer out of the money the newspaper are going to give me for the pictures.

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