News | Student saviour stops attackers

A heroic branch manager has saved the day by tackling a man who attacked a female student in broad daylight opposite the Parkinson steps.

The victim had been walking along Woodhouse Lane at approximately 3:45pm on Wednesday when a mugger approached her from behind and snatched her handbag, dragging her along the pavement as she tried to hold on to her belongings.

When Stewart Hazell, the STA Travel Branch Manager, witnessed the attack through his shop window he chased after the attacker to confront him.

LS spoke to Mr Hazell who said: “I heard a scream outside. I didn’t want to be the sort who just turns the other cheek. Plus I’m a good runner and I knew I’d be able to catch them up.“

The victim, believed to be an international student, was first dragged against the store window then along the pavement before the chase ensued.

Hazell told LS: “I ran down the road screaming my head off hoping other people would join the chase.”

The manager explained how a pair of local men helped him by cornering the attacker against a bin. The mugger dropped the woman’s bag and Mr Hazell went to save it, only to be shoved to the ground by a man believed to be an accomplice.

Modest Mr Hazell stated: “The other blokes were the real heroes as they did all the rough stuff.”

West Yorkshire Police have confirmed the victim of the attack was a 23 year old woman and that there are believed two suspects. One is described as white, approximately 5ft 10ins tall, thin and pale. The second man was said to be aged about 22 with a similar appearance.

Hazell added: “It’s rare for a mugging to occur in broad daylight with plenty of people about”.

Maddy Keating

Photo: Sam Broadley

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