An Indonesian traffic policeman has received a bravery award after rescuing a young woman and her toddler who had been taken hostage on a Jakarta bus by a thief armed with a knife.
After shooting the offender, the officer then saved the wounded man from a mob that “wanted to take him out”.
Dramatic footage taken by a bystander showed the thief holding a knife to the throat of the 25-year-old woman, who held her two-year-old child throughout the ordeal.
The child was asleep for some of the time, even as the thief screamed at the policeman and the crowd.
After negotiations failed and the offender said: “If one dies, all die”, traffic policeman Sunaryanto cleared people away from the bus, drew his pistol and fired — hitting the thief in the arm.
The woman and the child were unharmed.
Policeman Sunaryanto receives his bravery award from Jakarta police chief Muhammad Iriawan. (Supplied: Jakarta Police)
Police said the offender, 25-year-old Hermawan, had jumped on the public transport minibus in East Jakarta on Sunday night.
He pulled out a knife and threatened the passengers, telling them to give him their phones, necklaces and bracelets.
The passengers’ screams attracted the attention of First Assistant Inspector Sunaryanto, who was on his way to work.
Hermawan grabbed the woman, Risma Oktaviani, and put the knife to her throat.
In the video, Hermawan yelled at the crowd gathering around the bus.
“Go away,” he screamed. Someone in the crowd called back to him: “Hey, don’t kill children.”
“Go away,” he shouted again. Someone yelled back: “Who are you to tell us to go away?”
At one point, the police tried to take the toddler, Dafa, out of the bus. “No, we die together,” Hermawan said.
He told the officer he wanted a driver to take the bus somewhere else.
“It’s easy, we can negotiate, but not here,” he said.
Officer convinced mob not to kill thief
As East Jakarta’s chief detective Sapta Maulana explained: “Mr Sunaryanto tried to negotiate [for] around half an hour for Hermawan to stop what he was dong, but it was ignored. Hermawan told Sunaryanto to shut up.”
Sunaryanto told someone in the crowd to get ready to drag the woman out.
Someone told the officer to “read Bismillah” — which translates as “say a prayer” — and then Sunaryanto fired and charged into the bus.
“I tried to negotiate, but it was going nowhere,” Sunaryanto told Indonesia’s Kompas newspaper. “I had to take a firm act.
“I co-ordinated with people surrounding the bus, for people to move back from the scene, so I could have some room for the execution.
“After I think I have enough room, I shot the perpetrator, on his right arm.”
Sunaryanto’s next problem was the crowd that stormed the bus. Indonesian mobs are notorious for attacking and beating criminals — often killing them.
“After I took the knife, everyone tried to pull me out, people were on top of me — right side, left side — they wanted to take him out,” Sunaryanto told Kompas.
He convinced them not to kill the thief.
“I said: ‘Trust me on this, trust me, you’ve seen what I have done to him’.”