Watch: Six-year-old's incredible bravery during attack

By Vaimoana Tapaleao, Sarah Harris

Warning: Some content in this video may be upsetting.

Bravery runs in the Patel family.

Little Sarah Patel, who is only 6, stood up to an axe-wielding robber when invaders allegedly stormed her family's North Shore shop on Monday afternoon.

Her parents then pursued six men who police claim smashed glass cabinets, bashed the face of an employee and stole bags of mobile phones.

Six teenagers were pursued by police across West Auckland until their car was stopped by spikes in Glen Eden. Police then set after the group on foot.

CCTV footage shows the tiny girl pushing an alleged attacker during the frightening episode. She then runs away and is led to safety out of the shop by her grandfather.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Sarah said she "wasn't scared" when she saw the alleged robber. She remembers holding on to her dad's hand, then slipping when she saw the man.

"I slipped and turned around and saw one robber hitting ... [That's] going to hurt."

But when Sarah saw he was holding what looked like an axe she turned and ran.

Suhail Patel was surprised to see his daughter race up to an alleged attacker and grab his leg on the CCTV footage. "I'm very fortunate she didn't get hurt."

Mum Nashrin Patel, 31, yesterday said the robbery had had a huge effect on their family. Sarah is now on stress-relieving medication.

"My daughter was so scared I just gave her a big hug. She said hitting is a bad thing and wanted to stop it.

"The whole incident is not only disturbing mentally it's also too much disturbance in the life. She couldn't sleep last night, got a bit of nausea and anxiety."


Nashrin Patel, who also has a strong sense of justice, chased the alleged offenders in her car so she could tell police where they were going.

"They were driving so recklessly we couldn't get hold of them, they were just lost."

Jordan Byrt, 19, was working at the store when the men entered.

He said his first thought was to protect Sarah by distracting the alleged attackers.

Byrt was on the phone helping a customer when he noticed something odd happening outside.

"I just saw this car turn up, guys started hopping out - all dressed in black. One dude jumped over one of the cars and I saw one of the guys come in. He had a crowbar.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

"He started to hit things and they all came running in. We started to back off, we didn't want to get hurt."

It was just after 3pm and Patel's family - including wife, daughter and father-in-law - had just arrived from the school pick-up run.

As the men allegedly started smashing glass cabinets and yelling at staff, Byrt said he tried to play for time, so the little girl could get out.

"One of the guys had a hand axe and he was chasing after us. I turned around and I saw the boss' young daughter here and I just tried to get them out as soon as I can, just trying to be a distraction.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

"I ended up being pinned just in the corner. They asked me where the safe was and they kicked me in the face," he said.

Suhail Patel, who has been running the shop for six years, said it was still a shock thinking about what had happened. His daughter, who had thought her father was being attacked, was fine, he said.

• Five teenagers face charges of aggravated robbery, injuring with intent and breaching bail.

- NZ Herald

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