PCSO 'just doing job' when teenage driver reversed his vehicle into her
A POLICE community support officer was "knocked off her feet" when she was struck by a car driven by a teenage motorist.
Monica Bhardwaj suffered knee ligament damage and whiplash injuries after Zakir Ajaib reversed the vehicle at her when she challenged him.
PCSO Bhardwaj says she still feels angry and upset by the incident as she was only doing her job.
Derby Crown Court heard PCSO Bhardwaj and her colleague, Holly MacGregor, had become suspicious of the car after walking past it while it was parked in Hastings Street, Derby.
They believed "a strong smell of cannabis" was coming from it so they challenged Ajaib, of Crewe Street, Pear Tree, who tried to drive off before reversing the car back towards the pair.
His driver's door was open and it struck PCSO Bhard- waj and knocked her to the floor.
Ajaib, 18, admitted dangerous driving and driving without insurance on July 5.
PCSO Bhardwaj, who has been a PCSO for four years and is based at Pear Tree police station, said: "It knocked me off my feet.
"I had gone to challenge him and then he deliberately struck me with the car.
"I was off work for 10 weeks and had to go to physio treatments because of the ligament damage and whiplash injuries I received.
"I thought at the time I had broken some bones.
"Emotionally I still feel quite angry and upset by it by the incident.
"I'm a police community support officer just trying to do my job and keep the streets safe and someone feels the need to do this to me."
After the incident, PCSO Bhardwaj was taken to Royal Derby Hospital for treatment.
She was put on a morphine drip and had to take pain killers for a number of weeks after being discharged.
She said: "I was just doing my job. You don't expect this sort of thing to happen.
"The long and the short of the incident is that he drove the car at me trying to escape and that upsets me."
PCSO MacGregor, who is now a police constable, has been with Derbyshire police for five years.
She said: "This man had the audacity to drive at a serving PCSO and hitting her before driving off.
"It was a horrible thing to witness and could have been far worse."
Inspector Richard Keene is in charge of policing in Normanton and Pear Tree where the incident happened.
He said: "No serving police officer or PCSO should be subjected to the type of violence she was subjected to on that night.
"It is a testament to PCSO Bhardwaj's sense of duty and her bravery that she has picked herself up from what must have been a terrifying incident, got herself fit again after treatment and gone back out to patrol the streets of Pear Tree and Normanton.
"She is a credit to the force."
Ajaib will be sentenced on January 24.
Inspector Keene added: "I'm glad this regrettable incident has been resolved for the officer concerned and we await details of the sentence with interest.
"Hopefully she will be able to put this incident behind her."