Schoolboy Jack Slater praised for helping security guards in brawl at The Mall Chequers in Maidstone
CCTV footage shows Jack
Slater stepping in to help a security guard in a mass brawl -
as a friend tries to pull him back
by Andy Gray
This is the moment a brave schoolboy stepped in during a
"frightening" fracas at a shopping centre that saw a police
officer and security staff injured.
Jack Slater, 14, has been praised for jumping into the melee
at The Mall Chequers in Maidstone to protect a member of
security as horrified shoppers looked on.
Trouble flared just before
the town's Christmas lights switch-on last Thursday.
Jack, an Oakwood Park Grammar pupil and pictured left, said:
"The security guards were getting flung around a bit and one of
them looked like he was getting overcome. I ran over and grabbed
the shoulders of the person he was struggling with and pulled him
The youngster, from Boughton Monchelsea, added: "I've never done
anything like this before and it was only afterwards I thought, 'I
could've been hurt there'.
"My friend tried to stop me and said I was stupid for getting
involved but it was a spur of the moment thing."
His intervention, and a pal trying to pull him back from the
fray, was captured on CCTV.
A group of men were reportedly being ejected from the shopping
centre by security staff.
Three security guards suffered minor injuries, including a bite
mark. A police officer also received a minor injury.
Afterwards, a member of security staff alerted Mall Chequers
manager Paul Alcock to Jack's courageous actions.
The brawl develops in
front of CCTV cameras at the Mall Chequers
Mr Alcock used CCTV footage to identify him from his school
uniform. He visited Oakwood Park Grammar last Friday to formally
He said: "I couldn't believe a young lad wanted to go and help
"There were lots of people watching what was a frightening
situation but he was the only one who tried to stop it."
Jack was given £50 in Mall shopping vouchers as a reward.
The modest youngster said he would not hesitate to help
again – which will not go down well with mum Michelle.
Mrs Slater, 42, said: "I told him off at the time for getting
involved, but I'm very proud of him.
"He won't do anything like that again... hopefully."
The shopping centre
fracas is brought under control
Kent Police advise against bystanders taking matters into their
own hands if they see an offence taking place.
A spokesman said: "Rather than get involved they should call
police on 999."
Police have launched an appeal for witnesses to the Mall
PC Alan Weller said: "The shopping centre was very busy and a
number of people would have seen the incident."
Anyone with any information should contact PC Weller via Kent
Police on 101.
An 18-year-old man from Bobbing and two men aged 19 and 21 from
Sheerness were arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with
the Mall Chequers incident.
A 20-year-old from Sheerness was also arrested on suspicion of
obstructing a police constable. All four were released on police
bail until December 20 pending further investigations.
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