Cumberbatch hailed a hero for fighting off robbery gang

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch confronted several men who tried to rob a food delivery man in London.
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch confronted several men who tried to rob a food delivery man in London.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the popular character Sherlock Holmes, has been hailed as a hero after he confronted several men who tried to rob a food delivery man in London.

The life-imitating-art incident saw the 41-year-old actor saving the Deliveroo cyclist near Baker Street, detective Holmes' fictional home.

According to British media reports on Friday, four men attacked the cyclist and even smashed a bottle on his head.

Cumberbatch, who was riding in an Uber car with his wife Sophie Hunter, got out to intervene.

Uber driver Manuel Dias, 53, said the car was about to turn into Marylebone High Street when they saw the attack.

"I was taking Benedict and his wife to a club - but I didn't know it was him at first... My passenger jumped out, ran over and pulled the men away. They turned towards him and things looked like getting worse, so I joined in."

Cumberbatch yelled at the group, saying: "Leave him alone."

"It was only then I recognised Benedict. Then it all got a bit surreal. Here was Sherlock Holmes fighting off four attackers just round the corner from Baker Street," said Mr Dias.

The men tried to punch the star, but he defended himself as he dragged them off the victim.

The gang fled the scene after recognising him.

Mr Dias said: "The cyclist was lucky. Benedict's a hero... If he hadn't stepped in the cyclist could have been seriously injured."

Afterwards, the actor asked the rider how he was. "When he said, 'I'm OK', Benedict just hugged him," Mr Dias was quoted as saying by The Sun newspaper.

Police confirmed they were alerted to the assault in November. No arrests have been made.

Asked about the attack, Cumberbatch told The Sun: "I did it out of, well, I had to, you know."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 03, 2018, with the headline 'Cumberbatch hailed a hero for fighting off robbery gang'. Print Edition | Subscribe