26 August, 2015

Self-defence in the News - No. 85

Dairy owner takes on armed robber


by Nikki Papatsoumas

Nikki Papatsoumas is an NZME. News Service reporter based in Wellington.
A Hamilton dairy owner is nursing bruises this morning, two days after wrestling a rifle from a man who demanded money from his till.

Rupan Patel is this morning meeting with police again after grabbing the gun off the offender causing him to flee the scene at about 7.15pm on Monday.

"I did get a bit of bruising," he told the New Zealand Herald.

He did not yet know if the man had been caught by police.

When the man walked into the dairy with his face covered, Mr Patel said he thought it was some kind of joke.

"This area I've been told is really safe -- nothing ever really happens.

"He walks in ... he puts the gun up and I thought 'this is for real'."

Mr Patel said the offender passed him a shopping bag and ordered him to fill it with money from the till, while continuing to point a gun at him.

"He said 'no mucking around'. He used the f-word and stuff like that," he said.

Mr Patel said when he tried to open the till it wouldn't open.

"He came to the front of the counter and he tried to make a jump across the counter - that's when I took the chance.

"His hands were free and he wasn't pointing the gun at me.

"He was quite close to me and I tried to push him down on to the ground.

"He was holding on to me, I'm holding on to him, we're on the ground. We have a bit of a wrestle, but my main intention is to get the gun off him."

During the confrontation, Mr Patel managed to grab the gun. He said the offender's balaclava came off, revealing some of his face, but he quickly fled, jumping into his getaway car and speeding off.

"Then he makes a run out the door, I want to hit him with the gun, and tell him 'don't come back'."

"Scary thoughts" ran through Mr Patel's head as the gun was pointing at him, he said.

"He could shoot if it was loaded, if I didn't do anything, or what he wanted, then he would have shot me," Mr Patel said.

"I was trying to follow what he was saying but I couldn't open the till.

"Everything happened so quickly, my mind was pretty much blank."

Mr Patel said he took over the business three months ago, and the incident was like nothing he had experienced before.

Despite Monday night's ordeal, he has remained calm, and was back at work yesterday evening.

"I've got my family now at night time. I'm not by myself any more, just to be on the safe side."

- Additional reporting: Susan Strongman of the New Zealand Herald


08 August, 2015

Winter training on a snowy Saturday...

Left to right: Pete, Brent, Sohail, Hadrian.

Photographer: Anthony