Have-a-go-hero teen tackles three thieves on South Yorkshire street

Chief Insp Ferguson presenting Martin with his commendation.
Chief Insp Ferguson presenting Martin with his commendation.

A have-a-go-hero teenager has won praise for tackling three thieves who mugged a man in the middle of the street.

Martin Putnoky, aged 17, from Broom, was walking in All Saints’ Square in Rotherham town centre on November 9 when he saw three men confront another man and steal his bag.

But instead of turning a blind eye the youngster bravely chased the trio as they fled the scene.

He alerted police who arrived soon after to arrest a 21-year-old from Masbrough, a 24-year-old from Greasbrough and a 19-year-old from Balby on suspicion of theft from a person.

The Rotherham College of Arts and Technology student then came to the aid of the 52-year-old victim and gave him back his stolen property.

South Yorkshire Police have now rewarded Martin with a commendation for his display of ‘public spirit and bravery’.

Neighbourhood and Partnerships Chief Inspector Paul Ferguson said: “In a situation like this, most people would look on in shock, hoping that somebody would come to help.

“You were that person. Acting out of public spirit and bravery, you came to the man’s aid. On your own, you chased the thieves and detained them.

“This commendation is in recognition of your bravery to help a stranger as well as a thank you from South Yorkshire Police for your public service.”

Martin is hoping to join the force as a special constable and one day hopes to become a police officer.

As part of his award, he has been invited to join the Rotherham Central Neighbourhood Policing Team on a patrol.

The three arrested men have been released under investigation.