Purim knife man talked out of attack

A member of the Shomrim Jewish security team has spoken for the first time of how he and three colleagues disarmed a man wielding an 8in knife at the height of this year's Purim celebrations.

The man, who asked not to be identified, is in his early 20s and was praised by Barnet police for the way in which he and his team dealt with a potentially dangerous situation.

He said: "The call came through to the Shomrim hotline that there was a man with a knife in Bell Lane, Hendon. I and three colleagues put on anti-knife vests, as we have been trained, and went there.

"When we arrived, a young man was running around waving a knife. He threatened an elderly man, a woman and her daughter.

"The woman was screaming because he was chasing her daughter, so we got the girl into a house and told them to close the door.

"The man was in a state of distress and looked as though he was running wild. But once we got the girl inside, he realised he didn't have anyone to chase."

The Shomrim member said he had been trained not to have any contact with a suspect, but simply to call the police. "This was the exception," he said. "We called to the man and told him he was surrounded and to put down his knife, which he did.

"We spoke to him very calmly and did not get close enough for him to lunge at us. We asked him to walk back a couple of steps, at which point we moved forward, kicked the knife away and asked him to sit down. Then we waited for the police."

The man, 21-year-old Nyron Valentine Crichlow, of Colindale, north west London, pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court to affray and possession of an offensive weapon and was jailed for 15 months and nine months, to run concurrently.

Police Superintendent Neil Seabridge said: "We appreciate and applaud the efforts of the Shomrim in this instance who intervened and aided to protect people from potential harm. We would always encourage people to dial 999 and seek our help as soon as possible."

    Last updated: 2:31pm, July 1 2010