Bricklayer Sam Rodgers thought he was back in a violent part of England when a man pulled a gun on him while he was getting cash from a hole in the wall in Hamilton.
An armed man confronted the 20-year-old as he took $150 from the Kiwibank ATM in Dinsdale yesterday, a month after flying in from Kent.
"The first look, I didn't really see the gun," Mr Rodgers said. "I took another look and thought, ‘all right, wow, it's a little bit like home'."
The imitation firearm looked real to Mr Rodgers and it was pointing straight at him.
But his older brother Chris started yelling "Who do you think you are?" from the car window.
"The guy sticks the gun back into his pocket, but it's still pointing at me."
Mr Rodgers wasn't about to hand over his hard-earned cash from his first week's work and the gunman thought better of a confrontation.
"He literally just walked passed me. Usually if you're going to pull a gun on someone you don't walk straight past them. It was a bit odd."
Mr Rodgers jumped into his brother's car and the pair called police who asked them to keep an eye on the gunman.
They stopped at a dairy on Whatawhata Rd for a drink, keeping watch as the gunman - a dark skinned "fat" man - headed northeast up Killarney Rd.
The gunman took a right into Paterson St and the Rodgers brothers followed.
About halfway up, as the gunman walked into a house, Mr Rodgers said the first police car raced up.
"They were holding the gun out the window and he came out with his hands up."
Four more police cars arrived as back up and Mr Rodgers was impressed by the quick response.
The man was charged with a firearms related offence and was due to appear in court yesterday.
The confrontation took Mr Rodgers back to the mean streets of England where friends have been stabbed. He has New Zealand residency, from his father, and flew here for a different lifestyle.
"You kind of have to be careful over there. I think that's the biggest difference, until today. Everywhere you go you've got to watch your back and be careful.
"You just want to get away from that and I kind of got thrown back into it [yesterday] - it's not something you usually expect when you go to get money from the cash machine."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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