An off-duty police officer has been revealed as the commuter who headbutted a man who had allegedly been fighting and making violent threats on board a train from London.
The suited man, who works for the Metropolitan Police, can be seen striking the bearded man on the c2c service between West Ham and Barking in East London.
The man was allegedly harassing other passengers the train and commuters cheered and praised the suited man for protecting them.
The bearded man was restrained before police took him off at Upminster station in Essex, where he was arrested on suspicion of carrying a knife and theft by finding.
A Met Police spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of social media footage showing an off-duty Met officer on a mainline train on the afternoon of Thursday, 3 October.
‘The footage on social media is a limited capture of the incident, which is believed to have lasted in excess of 20 minutes.
‘The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards have reviewed the video and the details surrounding the incident and are satisfied that there is no indication that the officer committed a criminal offence, nor that he behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
‘At this stage no complaints have been received and so no further action will be taken.’
Del Scott-Lewis, a passenger in his 40s from Ockenden, told MailOnline he was involved in trying to stop the bearded man from attacking anyone on the train.
He told MailOnline: ‘I’m looking round over my left shoulder, facing a girl sitting down. He’s mumbling on about ‘I’m from f***ing Afghanistan’.
‘Then an old workman behind him has got up and said to this guy ‘leave her alone’. Then the guy punched him five or six times. I saw him fall backwards.
The video captures the moment the suited man (right) headbutts the bearded man (left)
‘I turned round and shouted out: ‘let’s get him off at the next stop’. When I got to him I grabbed hold of his right arm and marched him to the centre of the train.
‘When I got him against the door, this bloke who did the headbutting grabs hold of his left arm. He started struggling. The heatbutt was needed, desperately needed.
‘When against the wall, he started saying ‘I’ll kill you, I’m from Afghanistan, I’ll kill you, I’ll stab you’. I was on the phone to 999 and saying ‘we need urgent help’.
‘I put the phone down and went to restrain the guy. Before the headbutt comes, he was talking about killing me. Then the word ‘stab’ came up.
‘We saw no knife, but he made the threat to stab us. When he made the threat, no one had a baton – so we headbutted him.
‘If someone threatens to stab you, and you’ve got no baton on you, the only course available was to shut him up.
‘At that point some of the kids on the train started getting scared. I’ve never been in a situation like this before. It was a judgement.’
Mark Taylor, who said he was also on the train, told MailOnline: ‘The guy was causing trouble. He had tried to sit on the divider between the seats.
The incident happened on a c2c service between West Ham and Barking in East London
‘When a bloke of about 60 asked him to stop he attacked him. The big bloke and some others pulled him off. The big guy restrained him for about five or six minutes while being permanently shouted at and abused. Finally he had enough.
‘No one could blame him and it did the carriage a favour. That’s why everyone was laughing. He was hauled out at Upminster. Eventful journey.’
The video begins with the bearded man having a heated discussion with the tall suited man, who appears to be restraining his fellow passenger with his wrists.
The bearded passenger then shouts at the suited man: ‘Look at me I’m stupid!’ – before the latter violently headbutts him, sending him forcibly flying backwards.
The victim of the headbutt was visibly thrown down and backwards by the force of the blow
Some passengers on the crowded train gasp in horror, while others cheered and laughed at the move. Later, commuters discussed the incident on social media.
A witness said on Facebook: ‘This guy was harassing and trying to provoke fights the entire journey until he was escorted off.
‘Everyone was ignoring him as it was a busy train and no one wanted any trouble. The final straw was when he jumped in between two seats and was practically sitting on a person’s head.
‘The passenger simply told him to get down and the guy started laughing and started using horrible language towards him and a lot of other passengers on the train.
Witnesses said the bearded man had been aggressive to other passengers before the incident
‘He then started pushing the passenger and a fight broke out, which was quickly dispersed.
** Do you know either of the men involved? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘After many more horrible and inappropriate comments later another passenger cornered him into the door so he would stop harassing people and said for him to get off the next stop – Upminster.
‘He then started pushing him and insulting him, which resulted in the final headbutt. When he was escorted off the train he still continued to make comments and insults.’
Lindsey Walsh added: ‘I’m in no way condoning violence. However, having witnessed the 15 minute build up prior to this head butt, I can confirm he deserved it. What you are seeing is the head butt with no context behind it.
The man was later filmed being pinned to the platform at Upminster station in Essex
‘But that guy got on the train spoiling for a fight. He had a punch up with an innocent commuter and was abusive to everyone on the carriage. Again, I’m not condoning violence but the guy who gave the head butt was a hero.’
A separate video also showed the man being pinned to the platform at Upminster station while police officers headed to take him away.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: ‘British Transport Police received a report at 3.35pm on October 3 of a man fighting and making violent threats to passengers on board a train.
‘He was restrained onboard the service and arrested when it arrived at Upminster station. Following a search, the man, aged 29, was further arrested on suspicion of carrying a knife and theft by finding. He remains in custody.’
** Do you know either of the men involved? Email: email@example.com **