Dog Handler Impaled During Police Chase
31 December 2017, 07:04 | Updated: 31 December 2017, 07:10
PC Dan Thomas is recovering from surgery after freeing himself to chase a suspect in Sutton Coldfield.
A police officer who became impaled on a fence spike while chasing a suspected motorbike thief arrested the man after bloodily pulling himself free.
Pc Dan Thomas collapsed from "significant blood loss" after he and his police dog Gil found the 22-year-old hiding in a bush.
The dog handler required 15 stitches to a serious wound in his bicep after being taken to hospital in the early hours of Saturday.
Pc Thomas, who is now recovering at home, said: "I knew Gil was onto the suspect. I could see the blood pouring down my arm but was determined we had to keep on the scent and catch him.
"It was a good result in the end with two in custody - and we also recovered a stolen car that we believe the offenders arrived in.
"I've read a lot of kind words of support from members of the public - it's very heart-warming and I really do appreciate all their best wishes.
"I hope to be back on duty in the near future."
Pc Thomas, a police officer with WMP for 16 years, went after the man with his Alsatian partner after other officers had arrested a 16-year-old boy in the Walmley area of Sutton Coldfield.
A force spokesman said: "Gil indicated their target had clambered over an 8ft-high spiked fence.
"But as Dan lifted the dog over and jumped down, his jacket snagged and sent a spike tearing into his bicep.
"Despite the wound ... and with blood pouring down his arm, Dan continued tracking with Gil and, shortly after, found a 22-year-old man hiding in bushes."
Both men were arrested on suspicion of attempted vehicle theft, the spokesman added.
Pc Thomas said: "I was tracking alone with Gil but the officers quickly found me and applied a tourniquet to prevent further blood loss.
"And I also want to thank the paramedics and doctors at the hospital for all their brilliant work.
"They said I was lucky and that with such a serious wound I could have suffered a very serious arterial bleed."