Hero cops ‘thought they would die’ as they stopped knife-wielding brothers

Footage showing the aftermath of the violent attack in a West Bromwich shopping center was released by police after brothers Parminder Hunjan, 37, and Maninder Hunjan, 26, were both cleared of attempted murder

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Birmingham: Police officer discusses surviving knife attack

Two police officers have recalled the moment they thought they “were going to die” when they were attacked on the job.

Officers PC Leon Mittoo and PC James Willetts had been patrolling New Square Shopping Center in West Bromwich when they were violently attacked by two men with knives.

Footage showing the aftermath of the attack was released by West Midlands Police after brothers Parminder Hunjan, 37, and Maninder Hunjan, 26, were both cleared of attempted murder but convicted of other charges.

The shocking video shows the hero cops grappling with the pair as they attempt to get other shoppers, including children, to safety, Birmingham Live reports.

Parminder and Maninder had been stopped by the officers as they were wearing heavy clothing and large backpacks – unusual for the warm weather at the time in July last year.

Bodycam footage from the officers showed the terrifying moment a knife was pulled as they attempted to restrain the brothers.

At one point, PC Willetts could be seen sitting on the floor bleeding from a head wound.

PC Leon Mittoo and PC James Willetts can be heard shouting “he’s a got a knife” and “stop, stop now” as the yobs begin swinging blades at them


ITV Central / SWNS)

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Both brothers now face jail after jurors convicted them of the knife attack yesterday, Wednesday, March 30.

They were carrying backpacks stashed with weapons – including a machete and an imitation gun – when they began the frenzied assault on July 21.

The two officers who were patrolling the shopping center were left terrified they would ‘bleed out in minutes’ during the harrowing attack, the court heard.

These are the first pictures of two knife-wielding brothers who launched a terrifying attack on police officers patrolling a Black Country shopping center


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Frightened shoppers ran for safety and security guards were forced to usher the public to safety and stepped in to help restrain the brothers.

Shops closed their shutters in an effort to keep those inside safe. The officers were on uniformed patrol to reassure the public following violence in the town. Extra powers, known as Section 60 powers, had been granted at the time to carry out stop and search checks.

The brothers were first spotted outside Boots carrying large black backpacks and wearing thick coats.

Two brothers armed with blades violently attacked the police officers at a shopping center


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They were joined by a woman – who had been inside Boots – and the trio headed towards New Square via an escalator.

PC Mittoo decided to search for the pair under the Section 60 order in place so sped up to a slow jog to catch up with them. I have asked them to stop but they failed to slow down.

PC Willetts then spotted his colleague flagging the trio so went towards them, but the situation quickly turned violent. Parminder dropped his backpack on the floor 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 object back into his bag – but he got back up and began lunging at the officer with a knife in his hand. Maninder also slashed PC Willetts with a knife and the wound was later glued at hospital.

PC Willetts said: “It was 30-degree weather, it was the hottest day we’d had for a long time, everyone was enjoying themselves eating ice cream, in shorts and t-shirts, so it seemed really weird to be walking around in puffer coats and heavy backpacks.One of the men ran towards me screaming brandishing something and swinging around erratically.

“They continued to run towards us screaming, I could see Leon getting chased so I started heading towards him but then I suddenly felt a massive sharp pain in the back of my head and my helmet went flying onto the floor.”

A witness described seeing Maninder trying to stab PC Willetts to the head at least three times.

PC Willetts added: “I could see Leon getting chased by Parminder who was still swinging the knife. I thought, either one of us are going at this point – in our training we’re taught if it ever comes to knives, a slice in the wrong place and you can bleed out in minutes.

“There were loads of people around screaming, we were aware there were children nearby. Shops had put their shutters down, making sure the people inside were safe. You don’t think about yourself, you’re thinking about everyone else.”

Parminder Hunjan’s backpack


West Midlands Police/SWNS)

He continued: “We’re glad we stopped them and not someone else, like the security staff. They weren’t wearing the protective equipment we were and they’re lovely people so you wouldn’t want any of them to get hurt. “

Despite bleeding from their wounds, both officers managed to remain calm and keep the public safe while detaining the brothers. PC Mittoo suffered a slash wound to his forehead and hand, as well as cuts and scratches.

He said: “I was extremely scared, I thought when I was on the floor I knew he’d already cut me once, I’ll be honest I thought I was going to die. I just thought this is it for me now.

“Luckily we managed to overpower them, but it wasn’t easy and it was extremely frightening for the public as well. There were a lot of people there that day, the shopping center was packed out.

“Considering the items we found on them, it was a very lucky escape. It was a miracle really that we only got minor injuries.” Once the pair were restrained, PC Willetts was able to assess his injuries.

Maninder Hunjan, 26, and Parminder Hunjan, 37, had smoked cannabis when they launched the frenzied assault on July 21 last year


West Midlands Police/SWNS)

He said: “I looked down and my stab vest was ripped and there was blood down the side. Leon then shouted over ‘your head’ and I put my hand upon the back, looked at it and it was full of blood.

“But I kept looking at Leon and was more worried about him.” The brothers were found in possession of identical rucksacks which contained a significant stash of weapons.

This included a machete, an imitation gun, balaclavas and large quantities of cash, West Midlands Police said. Both officers, who received counseling and support, said they did not consider quitting the force.

PC Willetts said: “If anything it solidifies that you want to stay in the job more because it shows the dangers that are out there.” PC Mittoo added: “Thankfully I get to work with some brilliant people, and West Midlands Police has really supported me through the process. It was a terrible incident but not for one moment have I thought about quitting.”

The pair were convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to PC Willetts and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at Wolverhampton Crown Court on March 30. Parminder was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to PC Mittoo but Maninder was cleared.

Jurors cleared the brothers of attempted murder – which they also denied – after deliberating for five hours and five minutes. They had previously admitted possessing offensive weapons. Both will be sentenced on May 9.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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