Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

July 7, 2005
Bravery award for Burnham-On-Sea taxi driver and hovercraft chairman

A Burnham taxi driver who risked his own life by wrestling a sword-wielding man to the ground is to receive an award for his courageous actions.

Alan MillerAlan Miller, 35, who is also chairman of Burnham's rescue hovercraft, was parked in his taxi off Coast Road in Brean when he spotted the man walking along the road with what first appeared to be a stick.

But it soon became apparent that he was carrying a samurai sword and after threatening a group of people he was making his way towards a club which was starting to empty out of people.

Realising the danger the man posed, Mr Miller left his cab and warned the doorstaff at the club. As he turned around he noticed the man walking up the stairs towards the entrance of the club.

Without any thought of his own safety Mr Miller made a split second decision to tackle the man and wrestle the sword from him.

Mr Miller, of Burnham on Sea, said: “As the man faced me I saw him start to pull the blade from the sheath and at this point I decided I was going to try and detain him.

"I ran down to him and held the man in a bear hug, put him in a head lock and then grabbed the sword with my other hand. I then had help from the doorstaff who helped me to wrestle the man to the ground where we kept him until police arrived."

It took several staff to detain the man, who was arrested by police and later pleaded guilty in court to carrying an offensive weapon.

In recognition of Mr Miller¹s actions on July 28, 2004, he will be presented the Waley-Cohen award by Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s chief constable Colin Port at an awards ceremony in the Luttrell Room, County Hall, Taunton on Friday (July 8) at 10.30am.

Sergeant Roger Tolley, Burnham on Sea sector deputy, said: "Mr Miller was extremely courageous and had he not intervened we may have been looking at a far more serious incident. Due to his heroic actions, Mr Miller thoroughly deserves recognition for his action."


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