BY TOBY PORTER
A cop and his dog who disarmed a dangerous man on a train have been commended for their bravery.
On Monday, PC Craig Howarth and his dog Jax received a British Transport Police Chief Constable’s Commendation for their bravery in managing to restrain the violent man and keep passengers safe during the incident on November 2, 2016.
The duo were carrying out their duties at Catford railway station where they were told a man carrying a sharp object was attacking passengers on board a train and was self-harming.
The assailant had also trapped another commuter in the carriage as terrified travellers watched.
But the brave duo rushed to the station and onto the train – where they found the suspect seriously hurting himself.
He was panicked and shouting at the people around him, including a man he had trapped in a corner and was threatening.
PC Howarth deployed Jax – who is a five-year-old Belgium Malinois.
As Jax distracted the suspect, it gave time for PC Howarth to safely restrain the man and get him, and the other passengers, to safety.
Both were commended for their bravery by British Transport Police on Monday.
PC Howarth said: “The suspect was extremely violent and posed a significant risk to members of the public.”
Mark Paul Abraham, 26, from the Isle of Sheppey, was on the train between Gillingham and London
Victoria and threatening a guard with a smashed vodka bottle.
Abraham also attacked other passengers, believing they were laughing at him. He threatened to kill one man, threw his shoe at a woman and punched the train guard.
He was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
The incident happened on board a Southeastern service. At around 8.30pm the emergency cord was pulled on the train, automatically applying the brakes as it approached Catford railway station. The guard went to investigate and spotted Abraham.
He was at the door to the driver’s cab kicking and swearing. As the guard approached Abraham, he saw that he had smashed a bottle of vodka on the floor and held in his hand a piece of glass.
Abraham then approached the guard, threatening him with the glass and pushing him. The guard received a cut to his hand.
Abraham then sat opposite a passenger. Thinking the passenger was laughing at him, Abraham then launched at him, shaking him violently and threatening to kill him. He then slapped the passenger.
Abraham then turned to a female passenger who he thought was laughing at him. He took off his shoe and threw it, narrowly missing her.
He then shouted at the train guard to open the doors to the train, which he was unable to do. The man then pushed the guard against the door and then threw punches at him.
The violence continued until police arrived. Specially trained BTP officers, including PC Howarth, equipped with Taser devices and assisted by Jax, detained the man.
Abraham later pleaded guilty to assault, affray and obstructing a train by unlawful act.
He was jailed for 20 months on August 21 last year.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Ross McAlpine said: “In his drunken state, Abraham subjected passengers to a terrifying ordeal. He went from carriage to carriage, attacking and threatening innocent people.
“Fortunately, our officers were able to quickly board the train and were able to detain him.
“We will never tolerate violence and will work hard to ensure that suspects are quickly detained and brought before the courts.”