A brave Highland police officer has relayed the terrifying moment he screamed at a man to drop a knife as he threatened drivers on the A95.
The traumatic incident happened between Aviemore and Boat of Garten when the armed man started shouting in the middle of the road while waving around a shovel.
PC Paul Phillips, who was off-duty and unarmed at the time, launched a heroic intervention to tell the knifeman to drop his weapons, resulting in a stand-off.
The 43-year-old eventually managed to reduce the man who was threatening drivers with a shovel and a kitchen knife.
Heroic police officer was in car after his shift
PC Paul Phillips told the P&J the scary story from April 2022 that led him to claim the Individual Bravery Award at the Scottish Police Federation Annual Awards on Thursday.
The officer was in the car with his wife and two kids after they had come to pick him up after his shift in Aviemore.
However, traffic started slowing down on the A95, between Aviemore and Boat of Garten.
“I was in my own world when my wife said: ‘Paul! There’s a man shouting outside the car with something in his hands,’ he explained.
“I turned my head back and I saw a man with a shovel, so I decided to step out of the car, and told my wife to lock the doors and just drive.”
Paul reveals he thought he had made a “bad error’ when he saw the man also had a knife.
He said: “I got off the car and I then realised he was also holding a large kitchen knife.”
“While I was in the car, I had only spotted the shovel, so I was like oh s***! This may not end up well.”
Aviemore police officer reveals heroic story behind award
The officer continued: “He was holding the knife above his head and walking towards the traffic, so I told him to just look at me.”
“Drop the knife,” PC Phillips screamed at the man.
At some point, the assailant put the knife to his throat as if he was going to cut himself.
“Don’t do anything stupid,” he asked.
Then, the man said: ‘I will f****** stab you’ and lunged towards the officer, who managed to keep a safe distance.
PC Phillips explained that he was constantly trying for the man to just look at him and forget about the traffic.
He continued: “At some point, it was just the two of us and I managed to convince him to sit down.
“We both sat in the middle of the carriageway for around 10 minutes. I was talking to him as you would speak to anyone who is going through a hard time.
More police officers arrived
“He eventually dropped the shovel, but he would not get rid of the knife. He then stood up again and started walking towards Aviemore.
“We walked together for around a mile, after which I started hearing police sirens.”
PC Phillips convinced him to take a seat again until a police car arrived at the scene.
Another agent pulled out a taser and both started talking to the man, who agreed to drop the knife in the end.
“We jumped on the man and handcuffed him.”
Heroic police officer gets bravery award after emotional arrest
Paul described his actions that day as “brave but stupid.”
“I could not have ended well. I remember that after the arrest, I gave him a hug and told him that things would get sorted out.
“I then walked back to the car and my kids were crying. I had to hug them too to calm them down.”
Regarding the award, the agent said: “It was nice to get an award but to be fair, every police officer puts themselves at risk.
“I got my minute of fame but I’m quite happy to go back to reality now.”