Financier Eric Bellquist, who sits on the board of restaurant groups Wagamama and Byron, has been eliminated as a suspect in the police’s hunt for a jogger who appeared to push a woman in front of a bus in May this year.
Bellquist, a partner at private equity firm Hutton Collins, was arrested on Thursday 10 August on suspicion of grievous bodily harm but protested his innocence in the matter.
On Friday, his lawyers asserted that Bellquist had been wrongly implicated in the case and that the financier had “irrefutable proof” that he had not even been in the country at the time.
Solicitors Duncan Lewis said: “This statement is issued in relation to our client Mr Eric Bellquist, who was arrested yesterday in relation to an assault that took place between a male jogger and a female pedestrian on the 5 May 2017 on Putney Bridge, London.
“Our client has been wrongly implicated in this matter; he categorically denies being the individual concerned and has irrefutable proof that he was in the United States at the time of the incident.
“Consequently we expect a swift resolution to this wholly untrue allegation.”
It appears that this evidence has been sufficient to convince detectives that Bellquist had nothing to do with the incident and that it was, as Bellquist had maintained, a case of mistaken identity.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “The 41-year-old man was arrested on Thursday, 10 August before being released under investigation. Following enquiries, he has now been eliminated from the investigation.
“Enquiries continue to identity the jogger who pushed the female pedestrian into the road.
“At about 07:40hrs on Friday, 5 May the 33-year-old victim was walking across Putney Bridge on the east side heading towards Putney Bridge Tube Station when a male jogger pushed her, knocking her over into the road and into the path of an oncoming bus, which narrowly missed hitting her.
“The bus stopped and some passengers got off and rushed to the victim’s aid. She received minor injuries from the incident.
“About 15 minutes later the jogger came back the other way across the bridge. The victim tried to speak to him but he did not acknowledge her and carried on jogging.
“The jogger is described as a white man, aged early to mid 30s, with brown eyes and short brown hair. He was wearing a light grey t-shirt and dark blue shorts.
“Officers are appealing for any witnesses to the incident or anyone who recognises the jogger in the CCTV to get in touch.”