A Met policeman ran from his home in just boxer shorts to tackle armed raiders smashing the window of a jewellers in an early-morning raid.
Off-duty Andrew Wienand, 30, shouted at five suspects – one of whom threw a pickaxe narrowly missing his head – before they roared off on mopeds in south west London.
Pc Wienand, who is today nominated for a national police bravery award, suffered cuts to his bare feet from the store’s broken glass.
But he returned to work the next day for his shift in May last year.
Describing the confrontation, the officer said: “It was a flight or fight response.
“I saw him raise the pickaxe. I know it sounds cliché, but time does slow.
“I thought the only way to get at him, because he’s going to try and smash my head in with a pickaxe, is to run at him.
“So I ran at him, yelling, and he got a fright. He pegged the pickaxe at me. It narrowly missed my head because I jumped to the left.”
Newly qualified PC Wienand, attached to the Met’s Central West response team, was safely tucked up in bed at his flat when he heard a disturbance on May 31, 2019, around 3.30am.
From his front door, he could see a nearby jewellers was being burgled by a gang carrying sledgehammers and pickaxes.
PC Wienand added: “I know my family here in the UK are just so proud. My 80-year-old grandmother’s going down to the coffee shop going, ‘My grandson did this’.”
He is among three Met officers nominated for outstanding courage protecting Londoners at the 2020 National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Stuart Outten, 30, managed to Taser a man attacking him with a machete in Leyton in August 2019.
PC Darren Jenkins, 47, had his nose broken and head smashed against a patio by 18-year-old Riley Hope but got up to chase after him in Leyton in January this year.
Hope later received six months’ prison, suspended for two years, and 200 hours’ unpaid work for actual bodily harm at Thames Magistrates’ Court.
Ken Marsh, chair of the Met Police Federation, said: “It’s an honour to be a colleague of these three incredibly brave and incredibly dedicated officers.
“They acted in the best traditions of the Metropolitan Police by running towards danger and doing everything they could to keep Londoners’ safe despite the risks and in some cases, despite the horrific injuries they suffered.
“We are very proud of them all and we look forward to celebrating their superb bravery in person next year.”
The three officers will attend the awards ceremony in July 2021 along with 94 other nominees from across the UK.
The 2020 event – The 25th National Police Bravery Awards – was postponed this summer due to coronavirus.