Residents chase and tackle to ground suspected drink-driver trying to flee scene of Cliftonville crash

Police closed the road

A Cliftonville dad-of-four, his neighbour and a police officer chased a suspected drink driver who had crashed his car and attempted to flee the scene last night (June 13).

Children’s nursery owner Marc Rhattigan, 35, was one of the members of the public who gave chase after the male motorist smashed his car into a parked vehicle in Northdown Road at around 11pm.

Marc, who had popped out to the shop when he witnessed the incident, said: “I saw a driver narrowly avoid hitting two people at the new Northdown Road crossing  as I was walking out of the local shop, He then smashed into a stationary vehicle, writing both the cars off.

“I saw the gentleman run off so me and a neighbour chased him for about half a mile before being joined by a police officer.

“Instinct kicked in. Watching the man’s behaviour you could tell he desperately wanted to get away from the scene and it didn’t add up.

“Having young children, I thought to myself ‘if this guy gets away with it, next time it could be one of my children being run over.’

“The three of us had to wrestle him to the ground in a struggle before other officers arrived and then he was arrested.”

The road was closed while officers dealt with the incident.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Kent Police was called to Northdown Road at around 11pm following a report of a collision.

“Officers attended the scene where a car had collided with a stationary vehicle and was blocking the road. A 59-year-old man was arrested nearby on suspicion of drink-driving and failing to stop at the scene of a collision. He remains in custody.”

The man is also subject to a European arrest warrant.


  1. lets not single out where he comes from we are still in europe and called european are we not
    crime is crime no matter what nationality you are even spitting is a crime but no one stops people from it

    • What are you talking about Ms Hooper ?

      Nobody has “singled out where he comes from” – the article merely mentions a European arrest warrant . . .

      Congrats to the guys who stepped in and gave chase.

    • There are so many people like you Ms Hooper who are ready to hop onto the racist bandwagon! Singled out by the fact that you haven’t read the actual facts of the report, blinded by the mere mention of the word ‘European’ and of course your own agenda, whatever it happens to be. Any person living in another European is open to having a European Warrant served against them, which you already are aware of. I note you mentioned the terrible crime of ‘spitting’ which seems more serious to you than a drunk driver almost hitting two pedestrians before righting off someone else’s car and escaping on foot. Watch a game of football, Men and Women! are spitting all the time. Perhaps you could spend you time complaining about all these crimes going unchallenged?

      • Well done to your son, who selflessly put himself at risk to put a stop to the situation. I’m glad nobody was hurt at the very least. And agreed, it said European warrant, not person. A very petty attempt to turn this into something completely different to what it is.

  2. Well done Marc, officer and other neighbour for putting there lives at risk to many look the other way when they are faced with the dilemma of do I do the right thing and try to stop him getting away as he might have killed someone or its not my problem. They chose the right thing and gave chase I and many other citizens do as well as by your report he is wanted for arrest in Europe so could be he is a habitual criminal. As Queen said Another One Bites the Dust.

  3. Well done Matey, hope you are ok, after such an experience, deserves an award, expect the council can’t afford one, as they are looking for new premises, instead of making do like the rest of us.

  4. He has a European arrest warrant out on him
    Obviously not the best guy to have in our country and he still has not learned his lesson has he while here

  5. Very Well done Marc and everyone. Obviously a very dangerous individual has been caught. As for the European arrest warrant this does not identify country of origin but the importance of Interpol and Europol collaborating across countries to catch criminals. The speed in identifying he is a wanted person shows how important the EU is to us.Let’s hope such work continues .

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