A POLICE officer caught up in a high speed car chase has been hailed a legend for arresting a man by barking and pretending to be a dog.
PC Steve ‘Oscar’ Hutton has also confessed it is not the first time he has resorted to the unusual tactic to apprehend suspects on the run.
The turn of events began when the 44-year-old, of Wiltshire Police’s roads policing tri force team, was called to join another police unit in the early hours of Thursday morning, after a suspicious vehicle with four young people inside was spotted in Malmesbury.
They turned on their blue lights to speak to them but the dark blue MG made off down junction 17 of the M4.
Hearing the commotion on the radio PC Hutton, who was at junction 18, joined in with the pursuit on the motorway.
But eager to lose the officers, the car continued to lead them on a chase to junction 16 towards Swindon, where officers put down a stinger and forced the car to come off near the Mannington roundabout and towards Toothill.
“It spiked one of the tyres and they couldn’t continue any longer and the four of them ran off in Toothill,” said PC Hutton.
“I chased the rear side passenger and managed to keep up for 20 seconds but then couldn’t see him.”
But his dogged determination to not give up was when the incident took an usual twist, and PC Hutton went off textbook to try a different approach to get the man to stop.
“I shouted out I was a police dog handler and to stay still. I then let out a couple of barks,” the officer said.
“I must have had a convincing bark because he stopped. He turned around and looked confused. There was a few seconds that passed and he looked bewildered there wasn’t a dog. I thought I’ve got to get to him quickly before he realised.”
In the nick of time PC Hutton managed to get to the man and he was arrested and taken to the police station on suspicion of aggravated taking a vehicle without consent.
He was later released but enquiries are still continuing and officers are also still searching for the other occupants of the car.
However, the incident has left PC Hutton, who joined the police force 26 years ago to fulfil his childhood ambition, the subject of one or two jokes among his colleagues.
He added: “There’s been a few funny remarks. They have been things like I should work for the dog unit but wouldn’t need a dog.
“I’ve done it before when I was based in Salisbury and we were trying to get a man at a school. He ran across the school field and I knew we were never going to catch him, so I let out a couple of barks.”
The officer has also been praised by his son who thought his dad barking was "brilliant" and on social media. His tweet about the incident has been liked by more than 300 people.
One person said: “A bit of 'Ruff Justice'?” Another added: “That is legendary.”