A BOGNOR REGIS businessman has become a local hero after he single-handedly caught a youth with a knife on Monday.
Eric Yilmaz, owner of Tonsorial Parlour in London Road, restrained a boy suspected of carrying a knife outside his barber shop before police turned up.
A police spokesperson said: “Police received a report of a boy with a knife and an altercation on London Road in Bognor at 2.30pm on Monday, April 23.
“When officers turned up, a boy had been detained. A 16-year-old boy from London was arrested on suspicion of affray and possession with a knife. He has been released under investigation.”
Mr Yilmaz said he was working in his shop when he saw a boy rush past with three other people chasing him. He said: “I saw a guy running up the street and three guys behind, chasing him.
They got on top of him and had him on the ground on the florist’s flowers next door and started kicking him.
“I got involved because there were three against one and the one on the floor looked young, maybe about 12 years old.
“I picked him up off the floor and the other guys started shouting that he had a knife and that’s why they were chasing him.
“As I picked him up, he went to run away and threw threats at me. I said it didn’t matter and asked him where the knife was.
“At that point, a police officer came round the corner with a big knife which he had picked up from the corner and I passed the guy over to him.
“The knife was huge, it was like a knife from a kitchen. I was concerned about the lady next door and her flowers. But I went to stop them because there were three of them picking on one person, and I said that wasn’t fair.
“I went to help my neighbour at the florist because I love her, she’s my neighbour and she’s on her own, too.
“I saw the size of the blade and I am really glad it wasn’t on him to be honest. He could have turned on me.
“After, I thought, what do you do? He could have hurt me but then again, if you let him go with a knife, he could go and hurt someone else.”