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17 June, 2013
A 32-year-old local man, believed to be of Somali descent, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on Saturday
Stabbed PC was unaware he had been stabbed as he fought attacker in mosque
A HEROIC police officer did not notice he had been stabbed as he courageously wrestled a knife free from an attacker at a mosque.
A 32-year-old local man, believed to be of Somali descent, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on Saturday.
PC Adam Koch is recovering from his injuries in hospital
I didn't feel anything at the time: the adrenaline took over and my focus was purely on stopping this man causing any more damage.
PC Adam Koch
PC Adam Koch, of West Midlands Police, suffered knife wounds to his back and side as he grappled with the man in Madrassa Qasim Ul Uloom mosque in Washwood Heath Road, Birmingham at 11pm on Saturday.
The police had been called to the mosque after reports a man had stabbed three worshippers, and after a Taser shock had failed to disarm a man wielding a "commando-style knife', PC Koch bravely wrestled the weapon free from his grasp.
Speaking from his hospital bed today, the 31-year-old police constable said: "He charged towards me with the knife.
"I can remember falling to the floor and wrestling with the man and he tried thrusting the knife into my back.
"I'm waiting to see the damage to my stab vest as I'm convinced it's helped save my life.
"I managed to grab hold of his wrist and eventually disarm him; it was only then that my partner told me I'd been stabbed and blood was running from my shirt.
"I didn't feel anything at the time: the adrenaline took over and my focus was purely on stopping this man causing any more damage.
"Thankfully my injuries weren't as bad as they could have been and I hope to be back on the streets within a few weeks."
PC Koch won a police award for rescuing a toddler from a gas-filled flat last year.
He also praised worshippers at the mosque who helped pin the attacker down during the incident.
Pc Koch, who has been an officer for six years, said: "I owe those people a massive debt of thanks and if it wasn't for their help, bravely running towards a man they'd already seen brandishing a large knife, I may not be here today.
"As soon as I'm back on my feet I intend to visit the mosque and ask the imam to pass on my gratitude to the worshippers who put their own safety in jeopardy to assist me.
"In the end it was a great community effort to overpower the man and arrest him."
A 28-year-old man, who suffered multiple stab wounds, and a 36-year-old man, who suffered a single stab wound to the thigh, both remain in stable condition in hospital.
A third man who suffered a hand injury is recovering at home.
Police have said the attack is not a hate crime and is not linked to similar incidents following the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south east London.
Chief Superintendent Alex Murray said yesterday that the motive behind the incident is not yet known.
PC Koch, who underwent successful surgery for his wounds yesterday, has been marked out for his bravery before, winning a police award for rescuing a toddler from a gas-filled flat last year. A 32-year-old local man, believed to be of Somali descent, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on Saturday.
He remains in a secure mental health unit under assessment until deemed fit to be questioned, West Midlands Police said