A restaurant manager has described the “miraculous” moment West Midlands Police officers arrived on cue to foil a clown mask robber who was armed with a knife (scroll down for video).
The man – who’s asked not to be named – was finishing his shift at McDonald’s in Earlsdon, Coventry, just after midnight on 7th August when he heard a colleague scream.
When he went to investigate, he came face-to-face with sinister knifeman Zachery Ryan.
Ryan jumped over the counter and pointed the eight-inch blade into the 28-year-old’s stomach as he demanded cash takings.
But Ryan’s timing couldn’t have been worse.
Moments earlier two West Midlands Police cops had popped into the Alvis Retail Park eatery for a coffee on a refreshment break and rushed towards Ryan as customers fled.
The 41-year-old was tasered, disarmed and soon slumped on the kitchen floor in handcuffs.
On 24th October Ryan was jailed for five years at Warwick Crown Court after admitting a charge of robbery. He will spend a further three years on licence.
West Midlands Police has released dramatic video footage showing the incident unfolding, plus officers’ body-worn video that captures the moment the store manager thanks to the cops for coming to the rescue.
He said: “I was in the office having finished my shift when I heard a scream from one of my team.
“I ran out to find a man in a clown mask holding a big knife…
“I can remember the light glinting off the blade.
“All I could see was his eyes.
“He made threats for money, and when I told him we only had one till with cash, and that there wasn’t much in it, he got agitated and pushed the knife against my stomach.
“I turned to go back to the office, to buy some time; I knew it was a case of fight or flight, and I had a decision to make.
“But the moment I turned my back I heard a loud crack; I didn’t realise at the time, but it was the sound of the police officer’s taser going off.
“One moment I was being threatened at knifepoint and the next the guy was on the floor and in handcuffs.
“I thought ‘wow’ where did you guys come from. It was like a miracle and perfect timing.
“I’ll always be grateful for what they did that night. They and their colleagues are welcome to pop in for a coffee on their break whenever they like!”
West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Kat Sibley said:
“The officers were patrolling shortly after midnight and had stopped on a ‘refs’ break…they were in exactly the right place at the right time.
“Thankfully no-one was hurt, and the man has rightly been handed a jail term for what was a nasty robbery.”