‘Hero’ road work­ers tackle dairy rob­ber


A Mt Welling­ton man was part of a group of Auck­land road work­ers who helped tack­led an al­leged armed rob­ber to the ground in a dra­matic cit­i­zen’s ar­rest.

A man had pointed a gun to­wards a Pon­sonby dairy owner, then fled the scene with $100, be­tween 10 and 10.30am on Mon­day, po­lice said.

Joseph Askari, who works at City Con­ve­nience Store in Pon­sonby Rd, said the shop­keeper ran af­ter the bur­glar be­fore the work­ers also gave chase.

‘‘The staff mem­ber was very shaken up. It was the first time it had hap­pened,’’ Askari said.

Six Water­care sub-con­trac­tors, who had been work­ing in nearby Franklin Rd, heard dairy owner Reza Askari’s cries for help.

Two staff – Wil­son Pae­wai of Man­gere and Clyn­ton Kight­ley of Ti­ti­rangi – sprinted af­ter the man.

Their col­leagues Upokoina Glassie of Mt Welling­ton, Viane Ike­na­sio and Arthur Har­ris of Glen Eden and Hi­ole Latu of Man­gere saw what was go­ing on and drove ahead in their van, be­fore jump­ing out to block the foot­path.

They talked to the man to dis­tract him, while Pae­wai and Kight­ley crept up from be­hind.

Then Kight­ley brought the man to the ground with a crunch­ing tackle.

‘‘I just hit him from be­hind, he didn’t know what was com­ing, so it a was a good sur­prise for him,’’ he said.

Latu said the tackle was a sight to be­hold.

‘‘If we’d had our bro play­ing for the All Blacks on Satur­day night we would have been able to stop the Lions.’’

The work­ers held down the al­leged rob­ber un­til po­lice ar­rived.

Askari’s father Reza Askari said he was ‘‘very grate­ful’’ to the men.

‘‘They are very kind guys, very nice peo­ple. I shouted for help and they came.’’

The men, from Brian Perry Civil and City Con­trac­tors, had been work­ing on sep­a­rat­ing the aged stormwa­ter and wastew­a­ter pipes in Franklin Rd and Colling­wood St.

Water­care was plan­ning a spe­cial morn­ing tea for them.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Raveen Jadu­ram said it was ‘‘the least’’ the com­pany could do.

‘‘We are so proud of what they did to help out – an out­stand­ing ef­fort.’’

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Aaron Pas­coe said a 23-year-old man had been ar­rested over the in­ci­dent.

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