‘He was really calm and there was no struggle’: A fresher witnessed the Sunday night arrest
They drove past the scene on their way home
Matt Clarke, a maths and finance fresher, was at The Ram drinking with friends, when news broke that there had been an unconfirmed stabbing in Exeter.
False reports swept Twitter that there had been up to seven stabbings, that the offender had escaped from prison and was on University grounds.
He and eight friends arrived at The Ram at around 8:30pm. At approximately 10:30pm, they were approached by a member of staff and told to go home.
He told The Tab: “The lady working there come up to us and said we should get back to our halls because a number of stabbings had been reported”.
Nothing had been officially reported or confirmed by Devon Police at this stage: “We were all a bit scared in The Ram, because we had no idea what was happening.
“There were so many different rumours flying around. She said, ‘there’s been multiple stabbings’, I think she said five.
“Then someone said there had been another two, making it seven.”
They checked their phones to find numerous tweets stating there had been seven stabbings.
“We were literally like ‘let’s go now’. We’d already finished our drinks. There were nine of us together and there were two cars.
“So we got in my mate’s car, to drop two others back in town where they live.”
Matt says The Ram is approximately a five minute drive from where the arrest took place.
On the way to drop off their friends in town, they drove down Prince of Wales Road: “This was where we saw the bloke getting arrested. We literally bumped straight into it.”
He tells us he saw the arrest occur next to Cricket Field Court halls, 0.5 miles from where the stabbing is reported to have taken place.
“There was a Police helicopter above us and a lot of police cars and officers.”
They weren’t concerned for their safety once they had left The Ram and made it safely to their cars: “We were in a locked car so we weren’t really bothered.”
At the scene, Matt explains they saw six or seven police cars, a number of sniffer dogs and 15 to 20 policemen, along with the man who had been apprehended.
“When he got arrested we were like five yards away, we slowed down.
“There were two policemen holding him, one either side. We were literally like, ‘oh my god, it’s him’.
“He was really calm and there was no struggle.”
The man charged with attempted murder is due to appear before Exeter Magistrates court today.
Featured image courtesy of @DC_ARVSgt.