Sam Russell and Martin George
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
A brave shopkeeper used a bin as a shield to protect his daughter when a hooded man burst into his off-licence brandishing a foot-long knife.
The drama in Thorpe St Andrew continued after the man fled empty handed when, around 15 minutes later, police were called to a stabbing half a mile away.
A suspected robber targeted Woodside News in Salhouse Road at around 10pm on Monday.
Shop owner Huseyin Kaplan was behind the till with his daughter Damla, 27, when the man burst into the otherwise-empty shop.
He said: “I saw a guy come through the door with a beanie hood. I first thought it was a joke.
“I have been here for 10 years with no problem.
“My daughter saw a knife in his hand and started screaming for help.
“He pulled it out of his jeans and threatened us and said ‘Open the till now’.
“The bin was next to me and I used it as a shield so the knife would not hit me or my daughter. I kept pushing him with the bin and he moved closer to the door and then he looked at me for five seconds, hesitated and just ran.
“It was a shock. My daughter was in shock and screaming. I was trying to protect her. I was scared for her more than me. She was holding me back and stopped me going near the knife.”
He said he did not open the till, and the man made off empty handed.
Shortly afterwards, residents of Goodwood Close described seeing a man, in his late teens to early 20s, taken away in an ambulance and two men being handcuffed by police.
A police spokesman confirmed a man suffered a “single stab wound to the leg”, and ambulance service said he was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Officers confirmed three men were arrested in connection with the attempted robbery, and that they are investigating possible links with the stabbing in Goodwood Close.
The three men remain in custody.
Police would not confirm whether any of the arrested men had suffered stab wounds.
Goodwood Close resident Michelle Winstanley, 30, described seeing a wave of police activity shortly after 10pm.
A man who had been lying flat on his back in a neighbour’s driveway was taken away in an ambulance, she added.
Around half a dozen squad cars attended, together with the police dog unit and a riot van.
She said after the injured man was taken away in an ambulance, a shirtless man who was wearing no shoes was taken into a police car and a third man was taken away in a riot van.
Miss Winstanley said detectives took photos of evidence on Monday night, a police sniffer dog searched the area and officers looked through bins.
She described seeing a white T-shirt in the drive, but said: “I couldn’t see blood. It was so dark.
“It used to be really nice but there have been a lot of incidents here for the last four months.”
Her partner Neil Williamson, 40, said he left for work as a delivery driver at 2am and saw an officer was at the house keeping a watching brief.
Yesterday the driveway was cordoned off and crime scene investigators went in and out of the house in white forensic suits.
A neighbour, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she had seen a man limping up the road chased by two men who were shouting “there he is”.
“My partner said he heard someone running out over the stones,” she added. “He saw someone run over the road limping and we thought ‘right, let’s ring the police’.”
She said the injured man had been lying on his back covered by a blanket before he was put in the ambulance.
A second neighbour said she did not hear a fight, shouting or any sirens but there were lots of flashing blue lights.
A police spokesman said of the man who was stabbed: “He was taken to hospital for treatment and officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
Anyone who witnessed the robbery or has any information regarding the incident should call Norwich CID on 101 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.