A PCSO was hailed a hero after he turned himself into a human shield and sprinted across a railway track to protect a vulnerable teenager from a speeding TRAIN.
Ashley Bintcliffe, 28, was spotted darting over a bridge at Oldfield Park railway station when officers spotted a girl dangerously close to the tracks.
Quick-thinking PCSO Bintcliffe darted across its path towards the girl as the train – which was not scheduled to stop – sped towards the station in Bath, Somerset.
Onlookers said he reached her just in time to shield her from the oncoming train by pushing her against the embankment and out of danger.
Two colleagues from Avon and Somerset police joined him and all three shielded the girl, who was aged around 17, and later led her safely away from the tracks.
Eyewitness June Player was taking her dog Alfie for a walk when PCSO Ashley Bintcliffe ran past her twice.
June, 69, said: “He stopped and leaned over the station railings looking through a gap in the trees and then rushed down the ramp and turned right at the bottom and ran to the end of the platform.
“I looked through the trees he had and saw a young woman of at a guess about 17-years-old.
“She was standing close by the tracks on the Bristol side just past the bridge beyond the platform.
“He called something to her but I couldn’t hear what and then I heard a train and saw it coming along on her side from Bath which was obviously not going to stop at the station.
“Although I don’t think it was an express it was still going fast especially when the next thing I saw was the policeman run across the tracks in front of it.
“He got to the girl and shielded her from it by I presume pushing her back away from the tracks as far as possible and up against the embankment.
“At the same time I saw two policemen come rushing down the ramp that side and the last thing I saw as the train passed them was all three shielding the girl.
“After the train had passed I saw the girl being taken up the ramp with the two policemen who had rushed down that side.
“The other policeman came back along by me on Highland Terrace and I said it was such a brave thing he had done and then off he went.”
An Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they were called to the station over concerns for the well being of a woman at the station, on August 26.
A British Transport Police (BTP) spokeswoman said the person appeared “safe and well” afterwards.
Mrs Player, a councillor at Bath and North East Somerset Council, has called on the officers to receive commendations for their bravery.
She added: “It was only afterwards that the reality of the situation really sank in and I couldn’t help wonder what went through the train driver‘s mind as he saw all this going on and what if the policeman had tripped on the line!
“It was also then that I realised how it had affected me and I got quite emotional when talking about it for a few day afterwards.”
PCSO Bintcliffe has been a PCSO for around six years, and has already won medals for his bravery.
Last year the Royal Humane Society awarded him a bronze and the Police Medal – awarded for the first time to a non-warranted police officer – for pulling a man from a blazing car.
He also hit the headlines in 2014 when alongside colleague PCSO Mike Symonds he chased down and cordoned off a swan he found in the road, just like in the hit film Hot Fuzz.