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Quick thinking police officers save taxi driver staggering out of pub into car

Updated: May 7, 2023

Image credit: Gloucestershire Police

Quick thinking police officers helped save a taxi driver having a medical episode.

When officers received a report of a taxi driver staggering out of a pub and climbing into his car, it seemed a cut-and-dried case of stopping a drink driver.

But all was not as it seemed and, thanks to their quick thinking, the three officers were able to save his life.

Now Abdullah Bhaiyat has publicly thanked them as he recovers from a stroke which very nearly killed him.

PC Emma-Jayne Smith had been on patrol on Eastgate Street, Gloucester, in January when she was stopped by a member of the public who was worried that they had seen a taxi driver leave a pub, and suspected that he was under the influence of alcohol.

Stopping Mr Bhaiyat from starting his car, she called for assistance from her colleagues, PC Jess Hopton and PCSO Matt Addinall, who happened to be passing.

As well as being unsteady on his feet, Mr Bhaiyat was slurring his words, and the officers decided to breathalyse him. However, Mr Bhaiyat, who is a Muslim, told officers he did not drink and the breathalyser test confirmed that he had not had any alcohol.

It was at this point that they realised he was having a medical episode and, due to the urgency of the situation, put him in the back of the car and drove him to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

It turned out that Mr Bhaiyat – who had not been aware that he was unwell – was having a stroke and the officers’ swift action had prevented further medical complications.

In total it took just 12 minutes from the time they had found him to getting him to A&E – any longer and the chances of saving Mr Bhaiyat would have dropped dramatically.

Mr Bhaiyat is now recovering at home and was recently well enough to meet the officers again and to thank them in person.

He said: “We are eternally grateful for the help that the officers gave me. I’m well aware that, if it hadn’t been for their fast reactions, I may not have been here today.

“My family and I cannot thank them enough.”

The three officers have all been commended for their actions, receiving a Local Policing Area Award from Superintendent Carl Bourne.

Supt Bourne said: “I am impressed by the quick thinking and prompt actions of these officers. Their care and compassion in the face of a fast-moving medical emergency was a credit to them and their uniform.”


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