East London traffic cop saves robber who stabbed him in face from mob justice

Traffic officer Lawrence Constable after being stabbed above the eye. Buffalo City municipality provided a black and white photograph as it was less graphic than a colour picture would be.
Traffic officer Lawrence Constable after being stabbed above the eye. Buffalo City municipality provided a black and white photograph as it was less graphic than a colour picture would be.
Image: SUPPLIED

A brave on-duty traffic officer was stabbed in the face by a street robber at a busy road intersection in East London on Sunday afternoon.

Senior Buffalo City Metro traffic officer Lawrence Constable had to get stitches after he was stabbed once above the right eye while trying to stop the robber, said BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya.

The suspect had robbed a woman of her cellphone at the intersection of North West Expressway and Fitchet Road near Braelyn when a driving by Constable stopped and tried to apprehend him. East London police spokesperson Captain Hazel Mqala said the suspect stabbed Constable once in the face to free himself but was chased down and captured by passers-by including motorists.

The 21-year-old thug was hospitalised with broken bones after he was beaten to a pulp by the angry community members. He is getting free medical treatment under police guard at Frere hospital and will appear in court to answer for his crimes once he recovered from injuries, said Mqala on Monday.

He owes his life to Constable who rescued him from the attacking crowd by firing two warning shots in the air to disperse the angry mob, said Ngwenya.

Mqala said Constable then watched over the wounded suspect until Duncan Village police and ambulance arrived. The victim's cellphone was also recovered said Mqala.

Captain Mqala said cases of robbery with “another” weapon and assault were under investigation. “It is alleged that the victim 30-year-old female of Braelyn Extension 10 was walking back home from church and when she was crossing Fitchet robots, she was accosted by an unknown suspect who threatened her with a knife and grabbed her cellphone.”

“A traffic officer who witnessed this incident tried to intervene but the suspect stabbed him in the face,” said Mqala.

Constable is being hailed as a hero by the BCM management for taking on police duties by arresting the robber. Asked for comment, Constable said he was only doing his job as a law enforcement officer. “I was not scared at all when he took out the knife because I am here to serve the community,” said Constable.

Ngwenya said: “ As the city we are very proud of one of our bravest officers Mr Constable and we salute him for going beyond his call of duty.”

Mqala said the suspect will appear in court as soon as he recovered from his injuries in hospital.


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