Pubwatch communication leads to arrest of ‘knife wielding thug’.

Knife-wielding thug caught by Newcastle city centre bouncers and ‘good, old-fashioned police work’

Bouncers at Florita’s and police officers who gave chase have been praised after a man was convicted of possessing a knife

Tony Gregorio (inset) who was seen with a knife by Florita’s bouncers

A knife-wielding thug was chased down by police after bouncers on Newcastle’s Diamond Strip spotted him with a blade.

In July last year, police were called to Florita’s bar on Collingwood Street after Tony Gregorio was seen carrying the weapon.

Sergeants Jamie Bell and Graham Cockerill, of Northumbria Police were on patrol in the city centre when the call came in. They were sent the description and quickly identified Gregorio, 21, as a suspect.

When Gregorio saw officer’s approach he fled in the direction of Central Station, and the officers chased after him.

A court was told how the foot chase lasted just seconds before Gregorio was tackled to the ground and arrested.

He was charged with possession of a bladed article and has now been convicted after pleading guilty at Newcastle Magistrates Court. Following the conviction, Superintendent Peter Bent praised the officers and door staff and described the chase as “good, old-fashioned police work”.

He said: “Jamie and Graham were very quickly on scene after the door supervisors contacted the police through the Pub Watch scheme.

After identifying a suspect, they were hot on his heels and what followed was what I would describe as good, old-fashioned police work.

“This is a great example of our door supervisors working with police to tackle suspected criminal activity in our night-time economy.

“It is one of the reasons why Newcastle is such a safe city and I am delighted that Jamie and Graham’s actions have now resulted in a successful conviction at court.”
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Sgt Bell said: “These types of chases are the bread and butter for officers but it can be tough when you’re carrying all the kit that we do.

“We were both worn out by the end of it but we made sure we were professional, made the arrest and secured any evidence that was available.

“It is down to the vigilance of the door staff at Florita’s, that ultimately resulted in this arrest and it shows how well the Pub Watch scheme works.”

Gregorio, of Beech Grove Road, Newcastle, will be sentenced at North Tyneside Magistrates Court on March 22.

Story and photograph courtesy of Chronicle Live www.chroniclelive.co.uk

NPW Editor note: Its stories like this, which highlight the effectiveness of local Pubwatch schemes. Pubwatch greatly improves communication between the pub trade and the police and can have a real impact on violent crime. This is a particularly good news story given the recent public concern over knife crime in our towns and cities.