‘He just burst into tears’: How armed robbers were wrangled

WARNING: Graphic photos

Two brothers 'sinking a few quiet beers' at the pub have recounted how they made an armed robber cry in the midst of a violent hold up.

The Townsville men Robert and Matthew (not their real names) told The Townsville Bulletin they were in the middle of a game of pool on Saturday night when two men charged into the Royal Hotel, covered from head to toe and armed with a crowbar and a makeshift firearm.

 

Matthew and Robert (not their real names) fought off two armed robbers at the Royal Hotel. Photo: Craig Warhurst
Matthew and Robert (not their real names) fought off two armed robbers at the Royal Hotel. Photo: Craig Warhurst

 

Robert said the crooks were more comical than criminal when the balaclava of choice for one included a pair of "worn" Tradies undies which allowed his face to peep through.

"The crowbar guy jumped over the bar straight to the till and the one with the rifle sat back just waving the gun at us," he said.

"He was yelling 'get the f** to the ground' and I'm just like 'mate, I'm not taking orders from you'."

Robert said things escalated quickly when the offender noticed Matthew had pulled out his phone and began to film the incident.

Royal Hotel on Stagpole St, West End. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Royal Hotel on Stagpole St, West End. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

The man with the weapon turned his attention to them and ordered they hand over cash but Robert said he "wasn't having a bar of it".

"When I said no he pointed the rifle at myself and Matthew," he said.

"I took one look at the trigger and could tell it had been tampered with so I went for him."

Matthew said he was still holding his pool cue and with some quick thinking he turned it around and "clocked" the accomplice.

"Using that thick end of it I just smashed it across his face and snapped it," he said.

"Then he jumped back across the bar and ran outside.

"Robert got smacked in the back of the head with the gun and it snapped in half so I chased this guy, put him in a headlock."

Matthew said it was at this point the robber turned to water.

"He was on the ground and I'm not joking he was crying," he said.

"He just burst into tears and was like 'let me go, let me go'.

"So here I am saying 'mate, just relax and I'll go soft on ya'."

Robert said his partner in crime who'd fled outside probably thought his mate was in toe but when he realised he was still inside and the doors were locked behind him, things ramped up even further.

"Old mate who grabbed the cash was in the getaway car to take off," he said.

"Once he realised we had his mate, he tried to reverse the stolen car up to the steps and try to ram the door.

Robert suffered a head gash in the incident.
Robert suffered a head gash in the incident.

 

Matthew was knocked unconscious, hit in the head with the crowbar and later needing 11 stitches to his head.
Matthew was knocked unconscious, hit in the head with the crowbar and later needing 11 stitches to his head.

 

"He realised he failed so he grabbed the toolbox in the back of the car and smashed the glass."

The local lads said it was "all a blur from here" with Matthew knocked unconscious, hit in the head with the crowbar and later needing 11 stitches to his head. Robert has three staples in the back of his head from the butt of the makeshift firearm.

Detective acting Senior Sergeant Tony Flanders said investigators were closing in on the offenders, with forensic evidence and CCTV footage playing a crucial part in identifying them.

"It would certainly be the case that the offenders themselves may have received some injuries, to what extent is unknown," he said.

"There'd be no doubt that someone would know the identity of the offenders involved in this offence."

If you know anything about the robbery contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

 

kate.banville@news.com.au

Originally published as 'He just burst into tears': How blokes wrangled armed robbers


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