Update after officer injured in St Helens incident

Two men arrested on suspicion of Michael Toohey murder

An officer injured following an incident in St Helens last night (Tuesday 17 May) remains in hospital where he is receiving treatment for a serious shoulder injury.

At 8.05pm it was reported a backpack suspected to contain cannabis was in the road on Hewitt Avenue.

Officers attended and while one Constable was retrieving the bag at about 8.15pm, a white Ford Transit van was seen nearby and the occupants observed acting suspiciously.

Officers approached the vehicle and indicated they were going to carry out a search of the vehicle under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

When a Constable reached into the vehicle in an attempt to carry out the search, the driver drove away, dragging the officer along the road.

The officer sustained a serious injury to his shoulder and wrist, and is receiving treatment in hospital where his condition is described as stable.

A short time later it was reported two men were running from a van left on Ecclesfield Road into nearby fields.

Officers attended, the men were detained and the vehicle was recovered for forensic examination.

Two men from Rochdale, aged 26 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and taken into custody to be questioned.

The 30-year-old was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs (cocaine and cannabis).

Assistant Chief Constable Paul White said: “Merseyside Police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public from harm every day and understand the risks their role carries.

“They go into dangerous situations involving violent and aggressive offenders day in, day out because they are committed to protecting the people of Merseyside.

“But our officers should never have to tolerate violence against them when they are attempting to carry out their duties.

“Incidents such as this are absolutely unacceptable and have such a massive impact on the officers, their families and colleagues in the force.

“My message to those who carry out violence against police is clear: please remember, whatever you think of us, one day you or your families may need our help too.

“We know the overwhelming majority of people appreciate their service and I want to take this opportunity to thank those members of the public who came to the officer’s aid immediately after the incident, and those who reported two men running into fields.

“This consequences of this incident could have been even worse, but I am pleased to say that the officer is receiving the care he needs from medical professionals, and he will continue to receive our full support as he recovers from this terrible incident.”

Assistant Chief Constable White added: “We have arrested two men, spoken to witnesses and are studying CCTV footage from the area following the incident.

“But we continue to appeal to anyone who may have witnessed any part of it, or who has CCTV or dashcam not yet submitted to police, to come forward.

“Your information or evidence could prove vital as we seek to bring those responsible to justice.”

You can pass on any information via DM @MerPolCC, ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook quoting with reference 22000339976. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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