Police officer run over by his own patrol vehicle while trying to stop suspected car theft faces 'long battle' to recover
A policeman who was run over while trying to stop a suspected car theft is facing a “long battle” to recover, his family have said.
PC Gareth Phillips, 42, who underwent surgery for head and pelvic injuries over the weekend, remains in intensive care, West Midlands Police confirmed.
He was “violently assaulted and punched to the ground” during a traffic stop on Saturday, before being run over by a man who had got behind the wheel of his patrol car.
In a statement, released through the force with whom he has served almost 20 years, his family said: “We are grateful for all the messages of support that we’ve had from the police and members of the public.
“Gareth is still very poorly and faces a long battle to recover.
“What happened on Saturday demonstrates the dangers that officers face every day.
“We’d ask for people to respect our privacy now while we as a family support Gareth over the weeks and months ahead.”
While his injuries are no longer life-threatening, West Midlands police said they could be life-changing.
The statement came as Mubashar Hussain appeared in court charged with attempted murder over the incident, which took place on Moorcroft Road, Birmingham, on Saturday afternoon.
The 29-year-old, who is charged with a total of 13 offences after his arrest in the nearby Sparkbrook area of the city, sat in the dock of Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday flanked by security officers.
He spoke only to confirm his name, age and address and was told the offences were so serious they must be sent to the city’s crown court.
Hussain is alleged to have caused serious injury by dangerous driving, dangerous driving on the city’s A41 Warwick Road, and wounding another police officer who suffered a cut arm.
He is accused of taking the police BMW without the owner’s consent and driving it without a licence.
Hussain is further accused of four counts of assaulting other constables, driving while disqualified and two car thefts.
The thefts relate to a black Range Rover stolen on Friday, and a blue Range Rover Sport, taken on Saturday.
Hussain’s solicitor Abir Uddin said: “There will be a guilty plea to count number eight, to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.”
It is alleged Hussain stole a Range Rover Sport at about 4.30pm on the day PC Phillips was injured and another Range Rover, taken the previous day.
Hussain, wearing a white T-shirt, appeared alongside Ahsan Ghafoor, 24, of Sparkhill.
Ghafoor is accused of taking both Range Rovers, dangerous driving, and driving the Range Rover Sport without a licence and without insurance.
Shazad Imam, for the prosecution, argued the men had acted “in concert” during the alleged offences, and the case should therefore be sent to Birmingham Crown Court.
The case was adjourned and sent to the Crown Court. There was no application for bail.
Members of both men’s families had filled the public gallery at the back of the courtroom, and Hussain turned to exchange greetings as he was led up from the cells.
PC Phillips suffered a broken pelvis as well as head, abdominal and other internal injuries in the incident, and underwent surgery on Saturday and Sunday.
West Midlands Police Superintendent Tom Joyce, said: “The messages from the public have been really uplifting; it’s times like these that hit home to people what a challenging role policing can be and that officers across the country are putting themselves on the line every day to protect the public.
“Working in policing and helping people in need is a hugely rewarding job but it comes with it inherent risks.
“Everyone at West Midlands Police is hoping the officer makes a full and swift recovery and our thoughts are with him and his family.”