Catch 'Putney Pusher', hero bus driver urges as lengthy police hunt for suspect continues

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A hero London bus driver has told how he swerved to avoid crushing a woman’s head after she was shoved into the road by a mystery jogger.

Frenchman Oliver Salbris urged the police to catch the so-called “Putney Pusher”, who he believes acted deliberately, as he spoke of the near-miss that would almost certainly have cost the pedestrian her life.

The Metropolitan Police launched an appeal last month over the incident on Putney Bridge in west London earlier this year. Dramatic footage that shocked the world was made public in an effort to track down the alleged attacker.

But four months on from the disturbing scenes, Mr Salbris pleaded for the man to be caught as officers continued their lengthy investigation.

Jogger crashes into woman on Putney bridge

“The consequences would have been terrible for her – and for me,” Mr Salbris told The Sunday Times.

The father-of-two, 45, added: “I’ve never seen anything like this before.

“I was focusing on the road and I just saw the collision between the jogger and the woman.”

Mr Salbris, an experienced bus driver who moved to London in 2005, described the dramatic incident as a “close call” and said: “I thought I was going to touch her. If I hadn’t swerved, I would have smashed her head. It was reflex and I would say thanks to God.”

The woman’s head narrowly misses being crushed under the bus

Police are continuing to hunt the man captured on film barging into the woman as they crossed paths on Putney Bridge at 7.40am on May 5.

Soon after launching an appeal last month, officers arrested millionaire financier Eric Bellquist, 41, in connection with alleged attack, but later released him after he proved he was in America at the time of the incident.

Referring to the wanted jogger, Mr Salbris added: “He looked like he was doing it on purpose.

“He needs to be caught and to explain himself. He needs to be prosecuted.”

Police say the jogger crossed the bridge on his return journey 15 minutes after the initial incident and that the woman confronted him but was ignored. 

The runner, who was caught on camera by a bus is described as a white man in his early to mid 30s with brown eyes and short brown hair. He was wearing a light grey T-shirt and dark blue shorts. 

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.

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