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Off-duty policeman slashed with knife trying to stop suspected shoplifter in HMV

Published 25/11/2016

The store is in Leeds city centre.
The store is in Leeds city centre.

An off-duty police officer had his neck, face and hand slashed with a knife as he tried to stop a suspected shoplifter on Black Friday.

The West Yorkshire Police officer was released from hospital after receiving stitches for the injuries he received when he confronted a man at an HMV store, in Leeds city centre, on Friday morning.

A man has been arrested and is being questioned by police.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: " At 9.07am today, police received a report of an off-duty police officer having been attacked with a knife in the HMV store, in Victoria Walk, in Leeds city centre, as he challenged a suspected shoplifter.

"The suspect, a 36-year-old man from Leeds, was detained by store staff and has been arrested in connection with the incident."

The store remained closed for around two hours and a police car and van could be seen parked outside the shop.

Liam Hughes, a Big Issue seller, described the incident as "absolute madness" - but said the officer did not appear to be badly hurt.

He said the store had only been open for a few minutes when the attack took place.

He said: "It can't have been open any more than five minutes when I've seen an ambulance that turned up outside. Another ambulance turned up and police cars started to arrive.

"I started wondering what was going on.

"But then I've seen this fellow come out with the ambulance crew and he gets put in the ambulance. He was walking wounded, he wasn't too bad."

He added: "He looked like he had a couple of cuts round his face, maybe around his neck, it looked like he'd been in a scrap or something, but I didn't see any major stab wounds."

Mr Hughes continued: "I saw then, about five or 10 minutes later, I've seen one of the police officers come out with one of those plastic tubes with a penknife in it and I sort of put two and two together and thought 'someone's been stabbed here'."

He added: "It's madness. Absolute madness."

Mr Hughes said he did not believe the incident was connected to the Black Friday sales but said there was a queue of around two dozen people outside the shop when it opened and shoppers continued to wait outside while the store was closed for forensics teams to investigate.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting log number 344 of November 25.

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