A police officer has described how he impaled his arm on a fence spike but managed to free himself and chase down a suspected thief with the help of his police dog.
West Midlands Police said PC Dan Thomas suffered “significant blood loss” and collapsed during the chase before his Alsatian found the 22-year-old suspect hiding in a bush.
The officer suffered a serious wound in his bicep and needed 15 stitches after he was taken to hospital on Saturday.
PC Thomas said: “I knew Gil was onto the suspect. I could see the blood pouring down my arm but was determined we had to keep on the scent and catch him.
“It was a good result in the end with two in custody – and we also recovered a stolen car that we believe the offenders arrived in.
“I’ve read a lot of kind words of support from members of the public – it’s very heart-warming and I really do appreciate all their best wishes.
“I hope to be back on duty in the near future.”
A police spokesman said PC Thomas’ canine companion had indicated the suspected motorbike thief had managed to get over a spiked fence.
“Gil indicated their target had clambered over an 8ft-high spiked fence,” he said.
“But as Dan lifted the dog over and jumped down, his jacket snagged and sent a spike tearing into his bicep.
“Despite the wound and with blood pouring down his arm, Dan continued tracking with Gil and, shortly after, found a 22-year-old man hiding in bushes.”
The pursuit came after officers detained a 16-year-old boy in Walmley in Sutton Coldfield.
Both were arrested on suspicion of attempted vehicle theft.
PC Thomas, who has been with the force for 16 years, said: “I was tracking alone with Gil but the officers quickly found me and applied a tourniquet to prevent further blood loss.
“And I also want to thank the paramedics and doctors at the hospital for all their brilliant work.
“They said I was lucky and that with such a serious wound I could have suffered a very serious arterial bleed.”
West Midlands Police has since dubbed the dog “Gil the Great” on Twitter.