A deaf man is being hailed as a hero for intervening in an attempted robbery which left a security guard with a lacerated face and concussion.
The security guard was leaving a Whangarei supermarket with the morning's takings when he was attacked from behind, knocked to the ground and punched in the face by a robber, who tried to wrestle the bag of money from him.
But a deaf man came to the guard's aid at yesterday's incident at New World Onerahi, and is being hailed for scaring the robber away before he could grab the bag.
A 40-year-old senior security officer for Northern Districts Security was recovering in Whangarei Hospital yesterday afternoon with facial lacerations, concussion and a suspected fractured eye-socket after the attack.
Police were still on the hunt for the robber, who is described as Maori in his late teens or early 20s. He was wearing a black jumper, black pants and a light coloured grey and blue cap.
Northern Districts Security owner - and the guard's boss - Jean-Pierre Dignon wants to thank the man who immediately came to his aid.
"We can't be grateful enough. It shows the spirit in this town. Because we are such a small community, people don't want to tolerate lowlifes like this. We won't stand for this any more."
Mr Dignon said the guard exited the supermarket and went to open the door of the company vehicle, when he was struck from behind.
He dropped to his knees and was punched in the face.
"His eye socket has been opened. He's okay but a little bit shaken up.
Whangarei police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said the robber ran away towards Onerahi Primary School.
Police are also thanking the man for his actions, with Detective Senior Sergeant Dene Begbie saying he may have prevented further injury to the security guard and also stopped the robber from getting any cash. Ms Kennett said a police dog handler was called to assist in the search for the man, which included combing the nearby Onerahi Cemetery, but he was still yet to be located.
Police are appealing for information from anyone who witnessed the attempted robbery
In particular, they would like to hear from a woman who passed on some information to another member of the public but did not stay to speak to police, she said.
Anyone with information can contact Detective Constable Jade Henry at Whangarei police on 09 430 4500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.