PC Finn was assaulted as he arrested Macauley Melvin, 22, in Washington earlier this year
A top cop has hailed the bravery of an on-duty police officer who was subjected to an "disgraceful attack” by a violent offender.
Macauley Melvin, 22, punched and choked PC Finn before threatening to attack him with an axe in Barmston Village, Washington, earlier this year.
After it was alleged a man matching Melvin’s description had been acting suspiciously in the area, the experienced PC identified the defendant and placed him under arrest.
But Melvin showed little regard for the law as he climbed into his van and attempted to throw PC Finn out of the moving vehicle, before reigning blows down on him and throttling him in the street.
The offender was detained after a member of the public saw the attack and assisted the PC.
After Melvin was recently convicted of six charges including assault and dangerous driving, Chief Inspector Sam Rennison has hailed the officer’s professionalism and bravery as he successfully apprehended the suspect.
“Melvin’s disgraceful actions could have easily led to serious and potentially life-changing injuries for the officer involved,” Ch Insp Rennison said.
“The officer was carrying out his duties in a respectful and professional manner, and what followed was totally unacceptable – with the defendant punching, choking and injuring the PC in a desperate bid for freedom.
“There can be no question that PC Finn showed incredible bravery and professionalism despite being subjected to this horrific and unprovoked assault. I would like to place on record my thanks to him for his bravery whilst ensuring a violent criminal was successfully apprehended.
“Our officers come to work each day knowing they could be faced with dangerous situations, and clearly putting public safety before their own is paramount.
“However, when they are faced with such needless levels of violence, it is imperative that those offenders are dealt with robustly.”
The court heard a member of the public rang police claiming a man had been acting suspiciously in Barmston Village on the evening of February 13.
Officers were deployed to the scene, and upon seeing Melvin wearing a jacket on Waskerley Road which matched the description of the male, the PC began to place him under arrest.
But an incensed Melvin, of Wordsworth Avenue East, Houghton-le-Spring, walked over to his van before starting it up and attempting to drive off with the PC hanging out of the vehicle.
The attacker then began to punch and choke the officer, before threatening to “kill” him with an axe which was inside the van.
The PC managed to hold off Melvin and restrain him following assistance from a member of the public.
Upon arrest, Melvin denied punching the officer and claimed he reacted aggressively because he “was scared”.
He was subsequently charged with assault, obstructing a PC in execution of duty, dangerous driving, no insurance use, driving without licence and possession of a class C drug.
Melvin pleaded guilty to all offences on August 20 and was back in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court on September 13 for sentencing.
A judge sentenced him to a one-year community order, a five-month curfew with electronic monitoring and a drug rehabilitation requirement. Melvin was also ordered to pay £200 compensation.
In a victim impact statement, the PC said: “I do not come into work to get assaulted. I was nothing but polite and civil with Melvin.
“His actions were dangerous and if I was not capable of looking after myself, I have no doubt whatsoever that I would have come to serious harm either by falling out of the van whilst it was moving or from being strangled or even hit with an axe.
“I am an experienced officer having been in the police force for 10 years now, and this is the first time that someone has tried to throw me out of a moving motor vehicle.
“I come to work to help people, not get assaulted.”