Police Identify Jogger Arrested for Shoving Woman in Front of London Bus

By Ivan Pentchoukov

Police have identified the man arrested Thursday for allegedly pushing a woman in front of a London bus as Eric Bellquist, a partner in a private equity firm.

Bellquist was later released on bail.

Bellquist denied the police allegations, saying that he has proof that he was in the United States at the time of the incident, the Guardian reported. His lawyers say he has “irrefutable proof.”

“Our client has been wrongly implicated in this matter; he categorically denies being the individual concerned and has irrefutable proof that he was in the United States at the time of the incident. Consequently we expect a swift resolution to this wholly untrue allegation,” the lawyers said in a statement.

Bellquist works at Hutton Collins Partners, which owns several restaurant chains. Bellquist also worked for former investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Earlier this month, police released closed circuit TV footage showing a male runner knocking a 33-year-old woman head-first in front of a bus which just managed to swerve out of her way.

The incident occurred at 7:40 a.m. on Friday, May 5, on Putney Bridge in London.

After a near-hit with the woman, the bus stopped and some passengers got out to help her. She suffered minor injuries.

The jogger ran on but returned heading in the other direction about 15 minutes later, the Metropolitan Police said. The man but did not acknowledge the victim when she tried to speak to him and instead kept on running.

“The victim was put in extreme danger when she was knocked into the road. It was only due to the superb quick reactions of the bus driver that she was not hit by the vehicle,” said Sgt. Mat Knowles, the investigating officer.

After the woman fell into the road, the bus stopped and passengers went to help the victim who had sustained minor injuries.

 

“Police investigating an assault after a jogger appeared to push a woman into the path of an oncoming bus in Putney have made an arrest,” London police said in a statement.

A 50-year-old man is being held on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after an arrest in the nearby Chelsea area of London, police said. The victim received minor injuries from the incident.

Putney Bridge, London. (Patche99z [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Putney Bridge, London. (Patche99z [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
The arrest came after a public appeal earlier the week for help in tracing the jogger. Although the incident happened in May, police said they had received a “good response” from the appeal, and said they were still looking for other witnesses.

People in the area told the Evening Standard that similar incidents with aggressive joggers have occurred on the bridge.

Wandsworth Police Sergeant Mat Knowles said that since the footage has been released police have received a flood of similar complaints.

“It is perhaps more prevalent than I had first thought. Perhaps it is being under-reported,” Knowles said.

“See loads of aggressive middle aged jogging /cycling men around in London,” Barney Ronay, a sports writer for the Guardian, wrote on Twitter.

Chas Newkey-Burden, who has been running for 16 years, was not surprised by the incident in a column he wrote for the Telegraph on August 9, saying that he has lost count of how many aggressive runners he has seen over the years.

These rage filled runners are an embarrassment to our community,” Newkey-Burden wrote. “Fuming runners, however, have got away with their behavior until now.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

 
 
 
 
 

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