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Uxbridge College student Matthew Creeber stepped in to assist PC Fai Li who was being attacked in the street. PC Li called him 'my hero'.

A Hayes teenager who selflessly stepped in to protect a police officer being attacked by a man she was trying to arrest has been heralded as a "hero".

Matthew Creeber (17), came to the rescue of PC Fai Li who had been struck in the face twice by a man she was trying to handcuff just outside the Belvedere pub in Acton High Street.

Matthew, who is studying motor vehicle maintenance at Uxbridge College, was on the 607 bus which was being held up by the man after he threw himself in front of the bus and began trying to rip off the windscreen wipers.

But as others watched the officer and the man become embroiled in a violent struggle, Matthew immediately got off the bus to help restrain the man and said: "I saw him hit her and thought enough was enough.

"It was the right thing to do and these days, people don't really help each other out.

"I didn't think - I just saw him and wanted to help.

"I'm not muscular but I managed to get the man to the floor and when more officers came I thought they'd be able to handle it.

"I'm not a hero but my mum and friends are surprised and they couldn't believe what I had done.

"But I wouldn't change anything about that day."

PC Li had been called at 12.45pm on Monday 15 March to help a PCSO deal with the disturbance.

The PC, who has been with Ealing Police for four years, said: "This little chap appeared and helped me detain him and I'm so grateful as it could have got a lot worse.

"He showed no regard for his own safety and assisted in physically restraining a man allowing me to place hand-cuffs on him.

"He's my hero."

The officer suffered whip lash and needs physiotherapy but was back to work the next day.

A man has been arrested and charged for assaulting a police officer and is due to appear at Magistrates' Court next month.

Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: "Matthew's actions were brave and selfless and I am incredibly impressed with the way he stepped in to help this police officer in a difficult situation.

"Matthew is a real credit to himself and to Uxbridge College, and I would like to commend him for the courage and maturity he has shown."

* Thanks to the Uxbridge and Ealing Gazette newspapers for this story.

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