A Hawke's Bay man trying to stop what he thought was an attempted bank robbery at Westpac's Napier CBD branch instead found himself trapped alone in the bank with a man shouting "where's the money?".

Adrenalin was still pumping through the veins of local real estate agent Darren Austin on Wednesday, 24 hours after helping police arrest the man, who "trashed" the inside of the bank.

Austin was driving along Dickens St about 11.30am on Tuesday when he saw a commotion between an agitated man and the branch's security guard.

Darren Austin tried to stop a man running riot through the bank only to find himself trapped inside. Photo / Warren Buckland
Darren Austin tried to stop a man running riot through the bank only to find himself trapped inside. Photo / Warren Buckland

The agitated man then ran towards the guard, throwing what Austin said looked like punches, before racing inside the branch.

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Austin, who is a black belt in taekwondo, parked up and raced into the bank after him, aiming to try to subdue him.

"It was a bit silly you know, I didn't know if he was armed," Austin said.

The Westpac branch in Dickens St, Napier where a man was pepper sprayed by police. Photo / Google
The Westpac branch in Dickens St, Napier where a man was pepper sprayed by police. Photo / Google

"He could've had a bar or a knife or anything, but at that moment you make the decision and you just go for it."

Unfortunately for Austin, the bank's security systems had kicked in as soon as he got inside, locking him in.

"There was no staff around at all, they had all run to try to get to safety," Austin said.

"I found out later they had gone to a safe room.

One person was taken into custody and a 30-year-old man is due to appear in Napier District Court. Photo / File
One person was taken into custody and a 30-year-old man is due to appear in Napier District Court. Photo / File

"So it was just me and this guy in the bank and he was absolutely trashing the place.

"He ran behind the counter and there was no one there and he was looking for money and shouting and throwing things saying 'where's the money, where are the bank cards?'

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"It was pretty intense, it got the adrenalin pumping for sure."

Austin said police from Napier, who told him they had just been conducting an exercise in subduing offenders down the road at the police station, arrived quickly.

He heard banging at the door from them after about three minutes alone with the man.

But police couldn't get in immediately because the front doors were locked, he said.

Austin said he couldn't get the front doors open for police but found a side door where he was able to pull a latch up and help police get through quickly.

The man was then pepper-sprayed and apprehended.

A police spokesperson said they were notified about 11.40am on Tuesday of a disorder at a business on Dickens St.

One person was taken into custody and a 30-year-old man is due to appear in Napier District Court on several charges including common assault and disorderly behaviour.

A Westpac spokesperson said the "aggressive" customer had entered the Napier branch, confronted staff members and damaged computers and other equipment.

"Our staff ushered customers inside the branch into a safe area.

"The offender was arrested onsite and no cash was taken."

The branch will remain closed today while repairs are carried out, the spokesperson said.