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'Extraordinary': Kiwi cop chased offender after he was stabbed in the head

Publish Date
Tue, 21 May 2024, 10:53am
Elvis Poa leaves hospital. Photo / 9 News
Elvis Poa leaves hospital. Photo / 9 News

'Extraordinary': Kiwi cop chased offender after he was stabbed in the head

Publish Date
Tue, 21 May 2024, 10:53am

An “extraordinary” Kiwi police officer who chased an assailant down a Sydney street after being stabbed in the head multiple times says he was simply following his training.  

The man allegedly responsible for the stabbing - 34-year-old Okan Ozcan - has been accused of trying to kill the on-duty constable in Sydney’s city centre before demanding police shoot him. 

Elvis Poa, 35, was discharged from hospital yesterday after being stabbed near Hyde Park early on Sunday afternoon in what police are calling an unprovoked attack. 

He and another officer were performing traffic duties on the corner of Castlereagh and Park streets when they were approached by the alleged attacker. 

Ozcan allegedly produced a 30cm long “kitchen-style” knife and stabbed Poa in the back of the head two to three times. 

He was chased by the injured officer and a female constable along Park St and into Hyde Park, where officers directed him to drop the knife. 

Other officers arrived and Ozcan was tasered before being taken into custody. 

He did not apply for bail when he faced the Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, when the case was adjourned until July 9. 

Police Minister Yasmin Catley was blown away by the actions of Poa and his humility when she spoke with him on Sunday night. 

“Every officer I have spoken to that has been injured in the course of their day-to-day work has been so humble ... last night’s conversation was no different,” she said. 

“I said ‘how on earth did you get up and then chase the perpetrator’ (and he said) ‘because that’s what I was trained to do’ ... extraordinary, extraordinary.” 

Constable Poa was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital where scans revealed two skull fractures. 

Elvis Poa has been praised for his bravery. Photo / NSW PoliceElvis Poa has been praised for his bravery. Photo / NSW Police 

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the actions of all officers involved were heroic. 

“It’s pretty clear to me ... those officers were merely going about their duties and this offender came up from behind,” she said. 

“It’s amazing they had their wits about them to chase that offender and bring him to an arrest.” 

Poa’s father, Hori Poa, told the ABC that courage “runs in the blood” of the whānau and his son was “doing fine, considering what happened”. 

“You don’t want to hear about that happening to one of your kids,” he said. 

“God was on his side, that’s what I’m hoping anyway. 

“He actually wants to get back to work, but he’s not allowed,” he added. 

Poa’s mother said the family were “very proud”. 

The alleged offender is taken from the scene. Photo / 9 NewsThe alleged offender is taken from the scene. Photo / 9 News 

Investigators said Ozcan was known to police but did not have a history of mental illness recorded on the police database or a “substantial” criminal record. 

While Ozcan was still allegedly holding the knife used in the attack, he demanded officers shoot him, police said. 

Ozcan, who was taken to hospital after his arrest, was charged with causing wounding or grievous bodily harm with intent to murder. 

The officer’s stabbing follows a series of high-profile knife crimes, including a mass attack at the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre in Sydney’s eastern suburbs that left six people dead. 

The NSW government has since brought forward laws that will allow police to stop and search people for a weapon without reasonable suspicion or a warrant in designated precincts. 

- Additional reporting, NZ Herald 

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