A MAIL columnist has been hailed a hero after using his martial arts skills to stop masked men raiding a pub.
Wayne Allen, a DJ for Thornaby-based TFM Radio and a regular Mail columnist, was drinking in a pub near his home in Northumberland on Friday night when punters were suddenly were showered with glass as bricks were hurled through the window.
Wayne, a black belt in karate, ran straight out to confront the thugs responsible, coming face-to-face with a Balaclava-clad man who had more bricks in each hand.
Convinced a robbery was about to take place, the 36-year-old launched himself at the man and used his martial arts training to restrain him, pinning him to the ground before police arrived at the scene.
The dad-of-two said, who recently hosted the Mail’s Pride in Hartlepool awards night, added: “My karate licence says ‘protect your family, friends and uphold the law’ and that’s exactly what I did.
“And I’d do it again if I had to. I don’t advocate violence but women were screaming and I truly believed the pub was about to get robbed.
“Huge concrete slabs came flying through the windows. Women were screaming all around us. Shattered glass was everywhere.
“At that point I noticed someone outside wearing a balaclava. I went outside to see a Subaru Impreza with two guys inside also wearing balaclavas and one guy outside holding bricks in his hands ready to throw them, and I just piled in.
“It all happened very fast but I remember doing a leg sweep, taking his legs from under him and knocking him on the ground.
“I got him in an arm lock then got his arms out in front of him and kneeled on his elbows.
“At this point it was mayhem because everyone had come outside. Someone shouted out ‘he’s a policeman’ but then the landlady said ‘no he’s not, he’s a DJ!’.”
The incident happened at the Dr Syntax pub in Prudhoe, Northumberland, late on Friday night and landlady Olga Stokoe said: “He’s a total hero. He was just brilliant, and so was everyone else who helped him.
“Luckily no one was seriously injured but quite a few people were left with cuts and bruises.”
Detective Sergeant Sally MacDonald, from Northumbria Police, said: “This individual was brave in coming forward and helping in restraining a man. It must be stressed we are not advocating members of the public intervene in violent situations where they put themselves at risk, but that they should seek immediate police assistance.”
A 33-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and is currently helping with inquiries.