Officers stabbed with scissors by man he tried to help

A television programme has captured the moment a Somerset police community support officer was stabbed with a pair of nail scissors as he attempted to detain a wanted man.

PCSO Sam Bushen was injured by Sam Reynolds on School Road in Monkton Heathfield, near Taunton, on August 5 last year.

Reynolds, who was wanted for a number of burglaries and thefts in the Taunton area, was spotted by PCSO Bushen as he carried out a routine patrol.

Having initially restrained the suspect, PCSO Bushen allowed Reynolds to reach into a bag he was carrying to light a cigarette while police back-up arrived.

But as he put the lighter back into his bag, Reynolds reached for a pair of scissors and used them to stab the officer, leaving him with a puncture wound to his right forearm.

The injury Sam Bushen received
The injury PCSO Sam Bushen received
(Image: Avon and Somerset police)

Reynolds was arrested and subsequently jailed for five and a half years after pleading guilty to three counts of burglary, actual bodily harm, possession of a sharply pointed article, eight counts of theft-related offences, a breach of an existing court order and other offences.

Appearing on Critical Incident on BBC One, which featured bodycam footage of the assault, PCSO Bushen said the incident had made him “really angry”.

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He said: “I’ve dealt with this individual many times and most of those times have been through my PCSO work, engaging with him, offering him help and support.

“This individual has told me that he has a trade and that a couple of years beforehand, he was working and in a normal situation, so I’d offered to try and help him find work to see if we could help him get back into that line of work to stop him from reoffending.

“And that’s part of the role as a PCSO, engaging with these individuals, to try and stop those patterns of offending, so it made me really angry.

“I thought ‘how dare you?’ I’ve given you so much leeway and so much respect as a human being but to appear to want to completely disregard and continue to assault me.”

Sam Reynolds
Sam Reynolds was jailed for attacking PCSO Sam Bushen
(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

He added that the incident had taken its toll on his mental health, saying that while his injuries were relatively minor, he was left to ponder what could have happened as a result of the attack.

PCSO Bushen said: “It was something that I was constantly concerned about was, should I have done this, should I have done that? This could have happened. That could have happened.

“Then I remember there were several moments where I was in the shower one day and I came close to tears in the shower, generally because of the thought of my family and children.

“Don’t get me wrong, I know that the injury was minor, but for me it was the ‘what if?’, because obviously this male was wanting to continue to try to cause damage to me.

“It was the concern that it could have been far worse and unfortunately that played on my mind for days and weeks afterwards.”

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