West Midlands Police officers, PCs Stephen Fletcher and Rory Stuart-Knill, who were awarded a national honour by the Police Federation last night, were put in serious danger when they were targeted by a masked gang in Coventry in 2011.
The two, who were wearing plain clothes in a marked police car, were without standard protective kit when a group of around 40 people began to launch an attack on their patrol car.
The gang launched petrol bombs at a van and a car parked on the roadside before turning their attention to the officers.
Their vehicle was hit with numerous missiles and two petrol bombs, one of which exploded near the passenger door and the other towards the front of the car.
As the two attempted to escape, fearing for their lives, a man also approached the vehicle and smashed an axe through the rear windscreen.
The group soon retreated back to a parkland area but two of the offenders were later stopped by the heroic officers after a car attempting to the leave the scene was found to be carrying two men that PCs Fletcher and Stuart-Knill recognised from the scene.
When the doors of the car were opened the officers could smell petrol and smoke. The men were both arrested, despite one violently resisting.
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The 26-year-old neighbourhood officer had been deployed along with his team as part of a pre-planned arrest attempt.