Hero off-duty cop was first to respond to Flinders Street incident

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An off-duty police officer has been hailed a hero for his quick response during the Flinders Street pedestrian incident - where a car hit a crowd of people.

A Melbourne police officer's day off was interrupted when he stepped in to respond to the Flinders Street pedestrian incident, which unfolded as hundreds flocked to the area to complete their Christmas shopping. 

The officer swiftly responded when a driver ploughed through a group of pedestrians - he fought and eventually arrested the man behind the wheel. 

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The unidentified officer was the first policeman on the scene when the car left the road and crashed into a tram stop in Melbourne's CBD.

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The officer was injured during a struggle with the 32-year-old driver - he was taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries. 

Overnight the officer was hailed a hero for his actions, which potentially saved more people from harm by disarming the driver. 

A man is held by police after the Flinders Street pedestrian incident.
A man is held by police after the Flinders Street pedestrian incident.
Lachlan V

"That's putting service above self. You don't know what you're walking into when you walk into a situation like that, in Melbourne," Police Association Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said.

Nineteen people were injured in the incident, including nine foreign nationals. One man remains in critical condition. 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also praised the officer for his selfless actions.

“The off-duty arresting officer, a member of Victorian Police, who was prime in terms of detaining the alleged offender did suffer some injuries and is receiving hospital treatment,” he said.

“I think we would be right to single him out for special praise for the way in which he instinctively came to the aid of others in the protection of public order and potentially avoiding the so much other carnage.”

A damaged vehicle is seen at the scene of an incident on Flinders Street, in Melbourne, Thursday, December 21, 2017.
A damaged vehicle is seen at the scene of an incident on Flinders Street, in Melbourne, Thursday, December 21, 2017.
AAP

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