Wanstead man steps in to tackle mugger at Santander cashpoint in Wanstead High Street
A MUGGER was left bloodied and bruised at a high street cashpoint when an onlooker stepped in and gave him a ‘proper hiding’.
Scaffolder Tommy Stapleton, 32, of Dangan Road in Wanstead, was enjoying a Saturday afternoon drink outside Bar Room Bar in the High Street, when he heard screaming and shouting outside the Santander Bank a few doors down.
He said: “Funnily enough I was telling my friend how nice Wanstead was when I saw these guys mugging an old man.
“One of them jumped in a white Nissan GTI and sped off, but the other fellow ran into the road.”
Mr Stapleton dropped his drink and rushed from the bar to confront the remaining mugger.
“I rugby tackled him in the middle of the road,” he said.
“He squirmed away from me, so I just clumped him.”
The struggle attracted the attention of diners at the Nice Croissant Café but, just as Mr Stapleton managed to get a grip on the mugger, a crowd of women rushed out and started screaming at him.
Mr Stapleton said: “Some of them were shouting ‘It’s a racist attack!’ because the guy was Asian.
“I had him pinned down and was screaming at the people in the bar to call the police, but with all these women shouting at me I lost my concentration and let him go.”
The mugger ran off down the High Street toward Christ Church Green, leaving Mr Stapleton clutching his jacket and phone.
He said: “I had some of his blood on my left arm from where I’d punched him and I was trying to explain what had happened to a customer who came out of the British Heart Foundation shop.
“She told me I shouldn’t have got involved. I just said ‘Are you stupid?’
“I was scared of getting in trouble because I gave him a proper hiding, but people should step in if they see something like this happening.”
The cashpoint mugging is the third on the high street in as many weeks which the Guardian has been made aware of.
Mr Stapleton said: “I saw your story a couple of weeks back about the two pensioners getting mugged at cash machines on the High Street and I think it’s disgraceful.
“The robbery squad told me nobody ever gets involved, and thanked me for getting his jacket and phone. They were also able to get some DNA off my arm. The victim was just delighted I helped out.
“Hopefully this little runt has learnt his lesson.”
Both muggers are described as Asian, between 18 and 20, and about 5ft 7in.
• Anyone who saw the attack, which took place at about 2.20pm on September 15, should call Ilford CID on 020 8345 1626, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.