Citizens make a stand against crime

A lone gunman who tried to hold up a McDonald’s restaurant in Melbourne got more than he bargained for.

A lone gunman who tried to hold up a McDonald’s restaurant in Melbourne got more than he bargained for. Despite wearing a menacing balaclava and brandishing a gun, diners at the restaurant tackled him to the ground.

Just before 1am this morning, the man entered the restaurant in Mulgrave and pointed his weapon at staff, demanding they put cash in a bag and then told two customers to hand over their wallets. As he bent over the counter to ensure staff were doing as they were told, a group of customers tackled him to the ground.

The man was held for 10 minutes until police arrived. He has since been charged with three counts of armed robbery.

Read the full story at

Opinion: Too great a risk

Customers who foiled a robbery at the McDonald’s restaurant in Mulgrave are, of course, to be commended on their actions, but surely tackling a man brandishing a gun is foolish?

Despite figures released by the Minister for Justice in April this year showing a decrease in violent crime, many Australians still fear they will be the victims of crime. Every weekend we hear reports of young men bashed in the street for looking at someone the wrong way, or older people attacked in their own homes.  Yet when confronted with a man trying to hold up a fast food restaurant, a group of customers decided enough was enough and tackled the man. This goes against everything we are told to do when faced with such a situation, which is to simply comply and hand over what you are asked to.

No one in that restaurant would have been aware of the state of mind of the assailant, and given that the attempted robbery took place at 1am in the morning, the chances of such an ambush going wrong were surely quite high.

Perhaps those who tackled the man had weighed up the situation; maybe they were acting purely on adrenalin, or maybe they had just had enough of living in fear of attack and assault.

Yesterday was 11/11, the day on which we remember those who fought so we could live our lives freely and not in fear of conflict, violence or oppression. Yet everyday we face situations which could result in us being harmed. Yes, we do live in a free nation, but it is not a nation free from conflict, violence or oppression.

Not many Australians when faced with a gun-wielding assailant would have the courage to attack their foe; I know I wouldn’t, would you?

Have we become a nation living in fear of attack and assault? Would you act against an attacker?

Read the crime figures released by the Minister for Justice.


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    12th Nov 2012
    12th Nov 2012
    Many died at Port Aurthur - they didnt stand a chance. A whole planeload died in preventing another disaster during 9/11. Whether to be a hero or not depends upon the circumstances at the time. It was only after chivalry and honour became common aspirations that the human race evolved along those moral lines. There is still a long long way to go before everyone can walk free of violence and harm.
    12th Nov 2012
    He wasn't concentrating but the customers were. Good on them. I would at least try when the odds were in my favour. Parasites
    12th Nov 2012
    Yes, it all depends on the circumstances and this one was in favour of the customers. Well done I say, why should we sit there like scardy cats and let the scum get away with it.
    12th Nov 2012
    In close quarters, going up against a gun is safer than go up against a knife, you can be shot in the head and live a normal life, while you can be knifed in the most unassuming place and die of blood lose in a matter of seconds
    12th Nov 2012
    These Robbers' adrenelin would be flowing pretty well, when they are doing these armed robberies. If one can get in postition to tackle them, I think they would drop their bundle very quickly and try and get away. Yes. I would tackle them, rather than just do nothing.
    I am in Qld. We have a lot of "Lilly Livered", magistrates in this state. It's time we got rid of them and put someone in charge of the criminal courts that will give the appropriate sentences, that fits the crime. The Police have to catch the crims two or three times for them to get a smack on the wrists. The Magistrates up here will let them off. Maybe they wet their beds as a kid, or they were abused or they had single mums. You name it the lawyers will use it. Of course, a lot of it is completely made up.
    12th Nov 2012
    I did security work for a number of years after I got out of engineering (along with unarmed training of others), I have been up against knives & guns, as I said in a previous post I would rather go up against a gun any day, and I have the scars to prove it, the trick is, if they are going to hurt you, you want to be hurt where it will not kill you and just might possibly kill them, that's one, self inflicted by them on them and two, self defence on your part
    Pass the Ductape
    12th Nov 2012
    Whether anyone would act in similar circumstances to the one described above would depend upon who, what when and where. But I agree with LENYJAC, most of us are absolutely sick of having to cope almost on a daily basis with these morons who think the law has no place in their lives.
    As for crime figures going down - hah - those who compiled that little lot must have been away, living with the fairies!
    Lies, damn lies, and statistics - anything to make the world look a better place and give the impression that everyone solving crime is doing a fantastic job and thoroughly deserving of their long service medals....
    12th Nov 2012
    What sickens me is....if someone had taken the gun away from him while others were tackling him and the perpetrator took out a knife to stab someone, the bystander who took the gun might shoot him, not to kill but wound and then watch the penalty he would have to pay. The law is an ASS.
    12th Nov 2012
    I suppose these criminals are someone's precious little darling boy/girl.
    You're right, Roo2. Tell you what, maybe I shouldn't, but I fear a home
    invasion and keep a phone etc etc by the bed. Nice weay to live in your
    own home, what?
    12th Nov 2012
    'nice weay' should read 'nice WAY'
    12th Nov 2012
    The closest I have come to real absolute violence through criminal activity is losing a neighbour and friend through horrible murder. This happened 4 years ago, and only now am I coming to grips with the trauma from loss.

    The underbelly (criminal activity including drugs) of prostitution is the dangerous part; and I had to walk past people dressed in very expensive suits, with thck gold chains, and expensive cars, and hold myself together with courage and the right to walk where I walked on the driveway to my home.

    I would not counterattack when an attack is imminent, instead I would ask what I can do - or not - and even though I might be tempted to tell the weaponed person that he just might do me a favour, I would try to defuse myself first through listening, to his/her feelings, the stress, and try to get him/her to talk about what brought him/her into this situation.

    I would be ready to go if I was fatally shot, for that is both unavoidable and inescapable.
    But I would NEVER carry a gun, or another weapen to harm another person.

    I know some Martial arts but am not trained to avert the eye of a gun in my face.
    Neither do I carry a brick in my handbag :)

    So what remains is to pray and decentralize from my own ego into the immortality that dwells within everyone, denied, or lived.

    And I would be sad for the hypothetical killer, for the guilt it would bring him: Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do. And I do hope what I write here will be true for me if it ever comes to this point.
    12th Nov 2012
    No, I would not retaliate against an attacker. I know only too well what I would do.. freeze.

    When the kids were little an intruder tried to break into our house. He was unarmed, but when I heard the noise and saw him through the window I couldn't move or speak. Fortunately the kids were asleep so they were unaware. Thank heavens the dog barked and scared him off. I couldn't even find a voice to phone the police for what seemed like hours but was actually only minutes. It had to be only minutes because the police came straight away and on the way to my house they caught him just up the street trying to break into another house.

    Nobody I know would call me fragile. But I have played that incident over in my head for years, and while I would like to think that I would be strong enough to retaliate, if push came to shove, the truth is that the threat of physical violence from an unknown entity did render me useless.
    12th Nov 2012
    Hi Amanda, not useless: you were like a deer, a bambi, using natural stillness to become invisible.
    It seems you are still in shock - because of how you judged yourself at the time and still are doing today.
    I believe your answer is perfect: you were protected by the dog, and by your stillness, that is also being like a hero, I know it is.
    If the shock is still with you now, it needs to be addresseed because victims of crime have this deep sense of being violated, being denied their freedom of personal space and to deny a burglar access verbally would make you more of a target.
    Can you forgive yourself, for seemingly failing those parts of you that could not 'cope' but did?
    I so much appreciate your story - the sense of being violated is that it feels very WRONG - and a sort of emptiness where the mind slows down (fear/flight syndrome) and wholly disruptive to your usual quiet sense of self, including worrying about your children.
    Did you talk to them about this? Did they have a real response?
    Take good care of yourself: you are worth it!
    Please forgive me if I might sound pedantic or wrong, I hope not :)
    12th Nov 2012
    Amanda you did what your body & mind told you to 'freeze', sometimes it's the only thing you can do, my wife was caught in a dangerous position some time back, she just let everything go and said she was terrified UNTIL they threatened one of the kids, he never saw what hit him, old story you threaten the young and even the most docile will come out swinging, I am sure if you were needed to protect one of your kids you would be there with bells on, then heaven help the perp. Thinking back and second guessing yourself will never work as there are always to many variables
    12th Nov 2012
    Hi Multidisab and lasaboy, thanks for your kind words. I was most certainly like a deer in the headlights.

    I haven't spoken to the kids about it. How do you raise something like that? At the time they were too young at 6 and 3. It is a bit hard not to judge yourself. I realise it is a natural response - fight or flight. It is strange, if I am verbally attacked I will come out swinging, but if I am physically threatened I know I will take flight.

    3 years ago we were robbed while we were sleeping. I was the first up in the morning and I froze when I came down the stairs and realised something wasn’t right. It took me a minute or two to raise the alarm but in that short time, as I stood frozen and voiceless (I did try to scream) I had assessed pretty much what was missing and what damage had been done. So I guess that is a step in the right direction :)
    12th Nov 2012
    Hi Amanda, thanks for your reply, I was sort of waiting for it tonight or at some other time. And thank God you have.
    About the kids, I do believe they need to know, but only in the point of view that these things can happen in their own home while they are asleep - in the burglary 3 years ago they would have known? If I speculate a bit, the missing things were valuable - and easy to convert into cash type of items? Like laptop, and other electical items?
    Yes your intellect was present, there is absolutely no doubt about that and that does speak for your awareness that your a part of mind could deal with.
    But you were - and maybe still are - still in shock - if you can found some friendly counselling at your local VOCAL or similar organisation it might help, because in that shock your mind leaves your body and you cannot act.
    Your mind is still not quite with your body because you could not scream 3 years ago - and this tells me some help there would make a great deal of difference. I call this a form of PTSD or post-traumatic Stress - or Shock.
    Think about it? Seeing someone who listens?
    I once saw a young man have an accident on his motor bike, the ambulance was there, and something in me moved forward and I saw he was frozen - and I just held his hand - and gave him touch and support - and the gratitude that came from his eyes first, an then verbal thank yous, were unforgettable.
    In my own dealings with trauma I needed to hold someone else's hand too, I was either pre-verbal (early childhood battering) or speechless - as you were, and sharing openly, remembering the way I felt at the time (pain!) and being with the most effective counsellor I have ever known cleared a lof of my pain away, and with it a lot of my 'neediness' by wholly being with me, and holding my hand.
    There's still hope for you, dear Amanda, if you are willing you can grow past this and discover yourself anew.
    13th Nov 2012
    Thank you Multidisab. You are very kind and you have given me some food for thought :)
    12th Nov 2012
    In the majority of cases the 'guns' are replicas purchased freely from so called surplus stores. Only a practised eye would identify one from the real thing in a situation. The surplus stores also sell knives, bayonets and swords to individuals. The general public are not allowed to use more force than is deemed necessary against these individuals by law.
    Two people in WA have shot intruders on their own property wounding them. The firearms were licensed.
    Both were dragged through the courts before being found as acting in self defence.
    Not sure what the average response time, on the ground, to a reported person going armed in public is within the CBD or suburbs.
    However, if the weapon is real and you think you are quick enough, take into account that some .22 calibre firearm ammunition is capable of travelling at 1235 feet per second!
    12th Nov 2012
    Dear Bes, what I so much hope is that Australia does not become like America where guns are all too freely brandished and used.
    Australia copies a lot from the US - and I hope it stops and that ne day we will not need to copy or imitate any other culture, our own minds arre already full of light and know how to implement new and our own thought systems
    - instead of banning smokers, can we ban the drug dealers on all levels, irrespective of their status in society to achieve a drug-free OZ?
    12th Nov 2012
    Like every other law - the criminals do not obey the laws such as no weapons no drugs etc but the law abiding citizens do obey the laws - what a farce - and then we have laws which inconvenience all the law abiding citizens and do nothing to deter the criminals.
    12th Nov 2012
    We should be able to have guns in our homes and protect our Castle, if somebody points a gun at you we should be able to shoot him dead dead dead, I would, no problems I read every day how people with knifes and things just think they can rob you of your money and belongings and they do not care hold old you are, they will bash you or kill you if they think they can get away with it.
    Shoot them and they will not come back.
    12th Nov 2012
    Until we dish out punishment that is a deterent these cowards will go on doing these dreadful crimes, give them all a mandatory sentence of 20 years for carrying weapons that can maim or kill, it seems the Judges in our courts need looking at! they let murderers free after a few years, just because they say they had a hard childhood, well so did many others, but they don't go around killing and robbing, of course our streets are dangerous all the time these criminals are allowed back onto the streets because the jails are full, we have to get tough on drug and alcohol abuse, the people dealing must have very long sentences, they are destroying our young, I feel if the sentence was hard enough we would see less of all crime, and it would be safe to walk the streets again.A smack on the wrist won't solve anything, they laugh at this, so make it a long sentence with hard labour.

    13th Nov 2012
    Some good posts and good points here. Is minimum sentencing part of the answer I wonder?
    13th Nov 2012
    How Police clear up crime in their area. When they catch a crook who has done a number of crimes, they make a deal with him. As per.....If you nod your head to 54 burglaries, instead of 35 we have you for, on toast, we will go a bit easy on you.Of course the crim says.
    "You beaut, I'll do it". They've cleaned up 19 crimes, in one go.

    13th Nov 2012
    What really gets to me is the law makers. If you are to restrain one of these scum, you are in breach of the Crimes Act. BTW, minimum sentencing does not work, because if you have it, juries are more likely to acquit because of the minimum. How many people are aware that banks are not allowed to have dead locks on the external doors? The doors have to be able to be opened without a key, in case the poor unfortunate bank robber hurts himself & needs to escape.

    13th Nov 2012
    I think Police must be mightily frustrated a lot of the time, to do the hard slog, get the crim and then the judicial system hands out a slap on the wrist or a very light sentence.

    13th Nov 2012
    I would be very careful about tackling an armed gunman, and it would have to be in circumstances that were wholly in my favour. People brandishing big knives are a greater threat, a knive attack is quite often always fatal.

    One has to carefully judge the condition of the assailant - some are high on drugs, they often have extreme strength due to drugs, and they will often stop at nothing, including murder, to get away.

    I barely escaped with my life once when I challenged a powerfully built young man who was violently assaulting his female partner in the street. A number of people were standing around watching as this bastard treated his partner worse than any out-of-control animal.

    He threatened to kill me several times - and he meant it. I drove into a nearby carpark and called the Police - and then he made a beeline for me at high speed, running like Usain Bolt.
    I took off up the road away from him at speed, but he was right alongside, screaming he was going to kill me and making attempts to grab me inside my 4WD.

    Fortunately, I outpaced him when I picked up speed. If I hadn't been in my car, I would be dead today, for sure. He was definitely a murderer and he was almost certainly on drugs.

    I've worked alongside a murderer-rapist, and been threatened by him. He was one scary person.
    I know the difference between angry threats to kill, and PURPOSEFUL threats to kill.
    It's not worth losing your life over a few dollars, or even someone elses money.

    Wendy is right, our penalties are pathetic, armed robberies should automatically incur a 10 yr sentence. These bastards have no feeling for others, or the trauma they cause to innocent workers behind a counter.
    13th Nov 2012
    What a great line, Aaron:
    Knowing the difference between angry threats to kill
    (people being very upset, not violent per se)
    And PURPOSEFUL threats to kill.

    Yet most of the murders (see the Police work analysis on the given site above)
    happen at home.

    So does moet of the child sexual assault,
    which is NOT part of the recent Coronial Enquiry,

    and most rapes are at home - (a friend of parents in my case, who violated me sexually when I was not quite 3)

    and of course so is alcohol or drug-induced crimes of violence angainst (mostly) women, the cave-man analogy.

    Forgive me if I upset anyne here: those who demand guns in their home are living in a primitive society, and I thought this is not true in OZ?
    Or have I allowed myself to be duped?
    13th Nov 2012
    We complain abut the inadequate sentences some magistrates hand out to criminals and other law breakers. Our parliamentarians can reduce this by passing laws that set a realistic minimum sentence for an offence rather than just hoping that the magistrate gets it right.
    As things now stand, the criminals fear each other more than they fear the law or the police. Some magistrates also grant bail to criminals that violate their bail or parole conditions when the criminal commits further crimes whilst on bail. Legislation in this area should also restrict the discretion of the magistrate to allow bail for repeat offenders.
    Concurrent sentences should also be less freely available to judges in sentencing repeat offenders.
    14th Nov 2012
    The law should be changed to stop up all the legal gaps that are used to get criminals off, how many times do they walk free when some smart lawyer finds a loop hole! lets get back to good old commonm sense, we do not have justice these days, only the crims can afford it anyway.
    14th Nov 2012
    Some great posts on here and some worrying ones. I have had shot-gun pointed at me many moons ago, at that moment I knew the other had my life in his hands. I was just doing my job looking for a runaway kid, anyway thankfully the guy saw reason and put the gun down. I did not know the Lord then so am glad it was not worse. Bad enough though.

    I feel for those who have suffered traumas through the violence of others. As drugs pervade our communities we will sadly see more, not less of these things. My own quiet little city has now become a dangerous place to walk at certain times. Never thought I would ever see it happen.

    In any dangerous situation can be foolish to take on the aggressor, the police ask people not to. I can understand that people do though. Even so, better to lose money or property than one's life.
    17th Nov 2012
    17th Nov 2012
    We used to live out of town on several ares of land & that was when the gun laws started to come in. We had a .22 rifle which my husband had owned since he was about 16 and a scatter gun or a 44, at the time and my husband thought he would get rid of the scatter gun but I would not let hm get rid of the .22, I had had practice with it and felt that it was my saviour as my hisband often had to go away for a few nights for work. One night about midnight I heard a car coming down our driveway, the ocupants were obviously drunk judging by the noises coming from the car so I took aim with the rifle, over the roof of said car & fired about 3 shots. Well I have never heard a car come to a sudden stop, and do about a 5 or 6 point turn on our driveway & he took off in a rush when he met the road. I could hear him accelerating hard all the way to town where it quietened down. I'll bet he thought again before he bothered to enter private property again.

    17th Nov 2012
    When the opportunity presents itself, then attack the robber or other cretin, and bash shit out of them too..........' Oh officer he fell over'..that's good enough
    17th Nov 2012
    Sorry PIXAPD - I don't think anyone should be judge and jury, police or no. I have no time for violence by police or criminals.
    2nd Dec 2012
    I agree with Pixapd, if you have walked in the shoes ,and been a Victim of any CRIME,you
    would understand,you are so lucky if you haven't,so many cases you do not hear about.
    pedro the swift
    4th Oct 2018
    When it becomes more dangerous for the criminal than the victim crimes like this will reduce. We need our laws to allow self defense with ANY means including use of deadly force and without having to defend oneself in court at great expense.
    Note that politicians, business people can hire/use armed security but not the general public. It seems to be more important to have armed guards handling cash than to allow the public to defend themselves.
    How would it be if one could afford armed security 24/7 and the security stopped a attack? How would the law see that?

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