Crown St restaurateur disarms knife-wielding attacker

Turkish Delights in Crown St. Turkish restaurant owner Aydemir Gungor (left) had more on the menu than patrons bargained for on Wednesday. Pictures: KIRK GILMOUR

A Wollongong restaurateur dished up an unexpected floor show when he successfully disarmed a would-be robber in between cooking for a busy crowd.Aydemir Gungor, who owns Turkish Delights in Crown St, risked injury by whisking a 20cm knife from the man’s hand in front of about 15 stunned diners on Wednesday night.To make an eventful night even more dramatic, a nearby table of patrons then rushed to Mr Gungor’s aid and elbowed the offender out the door into the arms of police who were patrolling nearby.”The customers who helped out are regulars who just got up from the table and got rid of this guy before things got too out of hand,” Mr Gungor said. It was a busy but uneventful night until the man burst in at 8.30pm.”He made some obscene threats and demanded I pay him $500 every week in return for I don’t know what,” Mr Gungor said. “If it had been a normal robbery I would have just handed over the money but his demands didn’t make sense.”Mr Gungor said he became fearful when the man started to unzip his black jacket.”I figured out he was going to pull something out like a gun or a knife.”When I saw the knife I just made a grab for it and got it off him.”He said 17 years of night work had made him street smart.”You learn to read all types of people by their body language but nothing has ever happened like this before.”He said he was worried but more so for the people around him.”Everybody was great – they all co-operated with police and seemed happy to give witness statements. When it was over everything went back to normal, and the guys who helped me stayed on until late.”Mr Gungor said yesterday he had put the incident out of his head. “I haven’t really given it much thought today … it’s business as usual.”A 36-year-old Carrs Park man appeared in Wollongong Local Court charged with demand money with menaces and armed with intent to commit an indictable offence. He was refused bail to appear on video link on August 13.

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