Off-duty garda is hailed as a hero after foiling armed robbers' getaway
AN UNARMED, off-duty garda has been hailed a hero after wrestling an armed raider to the ground despite being threatened at gunpoint during a bank robbery.
The armed robbery occurred just before 3.45pm yesterday when two men, both wearing motorcycle helmets and wielding a handgun and a knife, entered the Permanent TSB on West Street, Drogheda, Co Louth.
The man with a black-handled knife entered the branch and terrorised staff, before entering a back room where he stuffed a holdall bag with notes, amounting to approximately €4,000.
Meanwhile, a second man armed with a silver firearm stood on watch at the entrance to the bank, holding the doors shut from the inside so that no one else could enter.
A source explained how a member of the public walking past the scene first observed what was going on through a glass panel and "pulled the man with the gun out on to the street".
It was at that stage that he was wrestled to the ground by an unarmed off-duty detective garda, dressed in a green rugby top, and a struggled ensued.
"At this stage the other fellow with the knife had come out of the bank and the gunman managed to get up and go towards the bike.
"He assumed his mate was following, but the garda and one or two members of the public overpowered the man with the knife, who had the money.
"The other guy came back and pointed the gun at the garda's head and told him to let him go, but he refused.
"The guy was trying desperately to wrestle himself free."
The armed robber then jumped on a motorbike and fled the scene at high speed.
The unarmed detective from Harcourt Square continued to hold on to the man until backup arrived.
The man in his late 40s was arrested at the scene and was detained under Section 4 Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Drogheda garda station.