Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who portrays Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Strange in the Avengers movies, and Smaugh the Dragon in The Hobbit, is himself a hero today. He chased away four assailants as they attacked a bicycle courier in the city of London. The attempted robbery took place on Marylebone High Street, just around the corner from Holmes’ fictional home on Baker Street.

Cumberbatch, 41,  was in an Uber-driven vehicle when he saw that assailants attacking a Deliveroo cyclist (Deliveroo is a food delivery service). According to a police report, the incident took place When he saw what was going on he leapt out of the car and interceded. The actor pulled the four muggers off the bloodied deliveryman and was himself attacked, but he fended them off and they finally fled.

“One of the males attempted to grab the victim’s cycle … He was then punched in the face, struck on the head and hit with his helmet,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement, adding that the incident took place in November last year.

“Nothing was reported stolen. The victim did not require hospital treatment. No arrests have been made,” the statement added.

The drama took place some blocks away from near 221B Baker Street, fictional London home of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero detective Sherlock Holmes.

Driver Manuel Dias, 53, said: “I was taking Benedict and his wife to a club — but I didn’t know it was him at first. I went to turn down into Marylebone High Street and we saw four guys were pushing around a Deliveroo cyclist. 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.”

Which makes Manuel Dias a hero as well.

The Uber driver who stepped in when things looked like they might be getting dicey.

“He stood there instructing them in the street, shouting, ‘Leave him alone’,” said Dias. “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. I had hold of one lad and Benedict another. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing. He was very brave. He did most of it, to be honest. They tried to hit him but he defended himself and pushed them away. He wasn’t injured. Then I think they also re­cognised it was Be­ne­dict and ran away.”

That makes sense. Who wants to face down Sherlock Holmes, let alone Doctor Strange — let alone six standing feet of Benedict Cumberbatch?

Cumberbatch, in his customary modesty, himself made light of the incident, saying that he wasn’t a hero and that it had just been the thing to do.

He said: “I did it out of, well, I had to, you know?.?.?.”