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Video shows moment customers restrain man using cable ties at Whitfield petrol station

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This is the moment drivers at a petrol station responded to screams for help by wrestling a man to the ground after an alleged abduction attempt.

It came after a mother says she saw a stranger get into the front seat of her car – with her nine-year-old son inside – at the BP petrol station on the A2 in Whitfield around 7.30am today.

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Pippa Anne-Malcolm described how she dashed from the shop to her car screaming for help as she feared for her autistic son’s safety.

Onlookers leapt to her assistance with a group then taking matters into their own hands.

The footage shows a man yelling as he is pressed against the concrete slabbed floor.

The group apprehending him worked together to wrap cable tie wires around his wrists.

One woman, wearing a McDonald’s high visibility jacket, is then seen cutting the loose ends of the cable ties away, before he is turned over and sat up against a pumping station.

A man was wrestled to the floor at the petrol station at Whitfield following an alleged attempted child abduction
A man was wrestled to the floor at the petrol station at Whitfield following an alleged attempted child abduction

The video then shows a police vehicle arriving at the scene.

Officers have confirmed they have arrested a man following a disturbance and he remains in custody.

Ms Malcolm says the incident was the “most scary thing” she has ever experienced.

She told KentOnline: “I was in the shop and ran out to get my son out of the car. The man was sat in my driver’s seat.

“I got my son out and screamed for help. My son is nine and has autism.

The group used cable ties to secure a man
The group used cable ties to secure a man

“He sat there, watching me pull my son from the car while I was screaming for help.

“I have no idea what he wanted. He didn’t speak to me or my son.

“It is terrifying, I honestly have never felt so scared.”

She has since shared a message of thanks on social media to all those who helped her.

She said: “I just wanted to thank the scaffolders who helped me and my son this morning. It was the most scary thing I’ve ever experienced.

“My son is OK, thankfully.

“Thank you to everyone who checked on us while we waited for the police and offered us support.

“You all truly are heroes and we can never thank you enough.”

Eyewitness Tracy Squire from Deal said: “All these men jumped on him. They were so quick thinking.

“They pinned him down and put cable ties on him.

“I just think the men are superheroes.”

A police spokesman said: “Kent Police was called at 7.42am on Tuesday 7 December 2021 to a report of a disturbance in Dover Road, Whitfield.

“It is reported that a man entered a stationary vehicle before he was restrained by some members of the public.

“Officers are in attendance and have arrested a suspect. Enquiries to establish the full circumstances remain ongoing.”

McDonalds has been approached for a comment.

Dover Eleanor Perkins



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