‘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.