This is the terrifying moment when two brothers, armed with knives, violently attacked police officers in the Black Country. Dramatic footage shows Parminder Hunjan, 37, and Maninder Hunjan, 26, launching their gruesome knife attack on the officers while they were patrolling a shopping center.
The brothers were carrying backpacks of weapons – including a machete and an imitation rifle – when they launched the frenzied attack in West Bromwich. The two officers – who were patrolling the mall – were terrified they would “bleed to death in minutes” during the harrowing attack.
Frightened shoppers rushed out of the New Square Shopping Center when Pc Leon Mittoo and Pc James Willetts wrestled with brothers on the morning of July 21 last year. Mall guards and other officers on the scene were forced to move the public to safety and intervened to restrain the brothers.
READ MORE: First photos of brothers wielding knives that knocked down cops at West Bromwich shopping center
Both brothers are now risking time behind bars after jurors convicted them of the knife attack today. The officers were on patrol in uniform to reassure the public after the recent violence in the city. Additional powers, the so-called Section 60 powers, had been granted at the time to carry out detention and search checks.
The brothers were first spotted outside Boots wearing large black backpacks and thick coats and gloves — which was unusual during a mid-July heat wave. They were joined by a woman – who had been to Boots – and the trio went up an escalator towards New Square.
Pc Mittoo decided to look for the pair under the section 60 order, so he accelerated to a slow jog to catch up with them. He asked them to stop, but they did not slow down.
Pc Willetts then saw his colleague flag the trio and went over to them, but the situation quickly escalated. Parminder dropped his backpack to the ground and began rummaging through it before removing a long black object, which officers later confirmed was a knife.
Pc Mittoo deployed his Parva spray to try to disarm Parminder, who dropped the item back into his bag – but he got up again and began lunging at the cop with a knife in his hand. Maninder also cut Pc Willetts with a knife and the wound was later glued in hospital.
Pc Willetts said: “It was 30 degrees weather, it was the hottest day we’ve had in a long time, everyone enjoyed eating ice cream, in shorts and T-shirts, so it seemed really weird walking around in puffer jackets and heavy backpacks. One of the men ran towards me, screaming, waving something.
“They kept running towards us screaming. I saw Leon being chased so I started running towards him, but then suddenly I felt a huge sharp pain in the back of my head and my helmet flew to the ground.” A witness described Maninder trying to stab Pc Willetts in the head at least three times.
Pc Willetts added: “I could see Leon being chased by Parminder who was still brandishing the knife. I thought one of us is going at this point – in our training we are taught if it ever comes to knives, a cut in the wrong place and you could bleed to death in minutes.
“There were loads of people yelling, we were aware there were kids around. Shops had their shutters down to make sure the people inside were safe. You’re not thinking about yourself, you’re thinking about everyone else.
“We’re glad we stopped them and not someone else like the security personnel. They weren’t wearing the protective gear we were wearing and they’re nice people, so you wouldn’t want any of them to get hurt.”
Despite the bleeding from their wounds, both officers managed to keep calm and hold the brothers and prevent members of the public from being injured. Pc Mittoo suffered cuts to his forehead and hand, as well as cuts and scrapes.
He said: “I was extremely scared, I thought when I lay on the floor I knew he had already cut me once, I’ll be honest, I thought I was going to die. I thought this is it for me now.
“Luckily we managed to overpower them, but it wasn’t easy and it was also very frightening for the public. There were a lot of people that day, the mall was packed.
“Considering the items we found on it, it was a very lucky escape. It was truly a miracle that we only sustained minor injuries.” Once the couple was detained, Pc Willetts was able to assess his injuries.
He said: “I looked down and my stab vest was torn and there was blood down the side. Leon then screamed ‘your head’ and I put my hand on the back, looked at it and it was full of blood.
“But I kept looking at Leon and worried about him more.” The brothers were found in possession of identical backpacks containing a significant stock of weapons.
The items included a machete, an imitation rifle, balaclavas and large amounts of cash, West Midlands police said. Both officers, who were given counseling and support, said they were not considering leaving the police force.
Pc Willetts said: “At least it confirms that you want to stay in your job more because it shows the dangers out there.” Pc Mittoo added: “Luckily I get to work with some brilliant people, and the West Midlands Police have really supported me throughout the trial. It was a terrible incident but I never thought of stopping.”
The pair were convicted today of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in connection with PC Willetts and possession of a counterfeit firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at Wolverhampton Crown Court. Parminder was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm related to PC Mittoo, but Maninder was acquitted.
Jurors acquitted the brothers of attempted murder – which they also denied – after five hours and five minutes of deliberation. They had previously admitted to being in possession of offensive weapons. Both men will be sentenced on May 9.
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