Bar patrons outdo armed duo

Last updated 16:30 07/12/2012

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Patrons at a Whakatane pub "weren't going to stand for it" when two armed men demanded cash from a barmaid.

They wrestled the intruders to the ground, holding one until police came. The other man was caught yesterday soon after.

Kope Turf bar owner Allan Unsworth said two workers were on duty about 10pm on Wednesday when the attempted robbery happened. "But when the patrons saw one of the girls getting manhandled by this guy, they weren't going to stand for it," he said.

"They rushed at them [the offenders] and wrestled them and gave them a bit of a tune up, which was good. This is definitely their bar and they were having none of that." The two staff members were "a bit shaken" but OK.

Eastern Bay of Plenty area commander, Inspector Sandra Venables, said while the patrons' actions should be commended, she did not recommend anyone tackling an armed offender.

"We would firmly discourage members of the public from putting themselves at risk by tackling offenders, particularly when they are armed, but that doesn't take away from the fact these patrons were incredibly courageous and should be proud they stood up for their community."

Two Whakatane men, both 23, appeared in court yesterday charged for assault with intent to rob. Fairfax NZ

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