‘Extraordinary’: stabbed cop who chased attacker hailed

Alex Mitchell, Peter Bodkin and Duncan Murray |

A stabbed police officer chased his attacker into Sydney’s Hyde Park.
A stabbed police officer chased his attacker into Sydney’s Hyde Park.

An “extraordinary” police officer who chased an assailant down after being stabbed in the head multiple times says he was simply following his training.

The man allegedly responsible for the stabbing – 34-year-old Okan Ozcan – has been accused of trying to kill the on-duty constable in Sydney’s city centre before demanding police shoot him.

Elvis Poa, 35, is in a stable condition in hospital after being stabbed near Hyde Park early on Sunday afternoon in what police are calling an unprovoked attack.

He and another officer were performing traffic duties on the corner of Castlereagh and Park streets when they were approached by the alleged attacker.

Hyde Park, Sydney.
A man was apprehended in Hyde Park, Sydney, after allegedly stabbing a police officer. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Ozcan allegedly produced a 30cm long “kitchen-style” knife and stabbed Const Poa in the back of the head two to three times.

He was chased by the injured officer and a female constable along Park St and into Hyde Park, where officers directed him to drop the knife.

Other officers arrived and Ozcan was tasered before being taken into custody.

He did not apply for bail when he faced the Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, when the case was adjourned until July 9.

Police Minister Yasmin Catley was blown away by the actions of Const Poa and his humility when she spoke with him on Sunday night.

“Every officer I have spoken to that has been injured in the course of their day-to-day work has been so humble … last night’s conversation was no different,” she said.

“I said ‘how on earth did you get up and then chase the perpetrator’ (and he said) ‘because that’s what I was trained to do’ … extraordinary, extraordinary.”

Const Poa was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital where scans revealed two skull fractures.

Karen Webb and Yasmin Catley
Karen Webb and Yasmin Catley praised the actions of injured police officer Elvis Poa. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS)

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the actions of all officers involved were heroic.

“It’s pretty clear to me … those officers were merely going about their duties and this offender came up from behind,” she said.

“It’s amazing they had their wits about them to chase that offender and bring him to an arrest.”

Investigators said Ozcan was known to police but did not have a history of mental illness recorded on the police database or a “substantial” criminal record.

While Ozcan was still allegedly holding the knife used in the attack, he demanded officers shoot him, police said.

Ozcan, who was taken to hospital after his arrest, was charged with causing wounding or grievous bodily harm with intent to murder.

The officer’s stabbing follows a series of high-profile knife crimes, including a mass attack at the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre in Sydney’s eastern suburbs that left six people dead.

The NSW government has since brought forward laws that will allow police to stop and search people for a weapon without reasonable suspicion or a warrant in designated precincts.

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