Cop ends tense stand off

2016-04-12 06:00
Warrant Officer Albertus Burger kept a calm head to defuse a dangerous situation at Maitland Police Station.

Warrant Officer Albertus Burger kept a calm head to defuse a dangerous situation at Maitland Police Station.

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Keeping calm in chaos can save the day.

This was the scenario at the Maitland police station recently when a calm cop kept his head to defuse a dangerous situation inside the facility.

Communications officer Constable Lorencial Johnson explained that the hero for the day was Warrant Officer Albertus Burger.

“This life or death situation played itself out at about 14:30 (on Good Friday), when a deranged foreign national man produced a hunting knife and threatened to use it on anyone who wanted to take it from him,” he says.

“It is believed that earlier he ran in and out of businesses along Voortrekker Road as he was making his way towards the Maitland police station.”

Defusing the situationOfficers had their hands full as everyone had their fire arms drawn and pointed at the man who was at this point standing in the middle of the community service centre, Johnson says.

“Warrant Officer Burger, however, kept a cool head and upon his arrival saw about fourteen fire arms from police officers drawn and pointed at the male in a very tense standoff.

“Burger, who is stationed at Pineland police station, being the highest rank on the scene, saw that this situation could turn into a blood bath and immediately decided to approach the man without his firearm drawn.”

Johnson explained that already having survived both a bomb explosion as well as being shot, Burger knew exactly the risk he was taking in doing so but did it to save a person’s life and the lives of his fellow officers involved.

“He communicated with the man firmly and informed him of the dangerous situation he found himself in and demanded that he hand over the hunting knife which he then did.

“With the situation being defused without a single shot being fired, it was established that the man should be taken to hospital for a psychiatric assessment.”

Lives savedThis was not the end of the saga because while he was being escorted to the police vehicle, the man used his strength to break free and ran into oncoming traffic in Voortrekker Road.

“Luckily with the assistance of two men, the deranged person was grabbed and placed in the patrol vehicle,”said Johnson.

He was then transported to a nearby hospital for assessment.

Due to the bravery and calmness of Burger, who has 32 years of service to the police, a life threatening situation was ended with no loss of lives.

“The management of Maitland police would also like to express their gratitude towards warrant officer Burger’s unselfish role in defusing the situation,” concluded Johnson.

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