Video: Shopkeeper, 70, fights off knife thug with bear hug

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AN elderly shopkeeper in West Yorkshire fought off a knife-wielding thug and sent him fleeing empty-handed after giving him a bear hug.

David Sykes, 70, was at the convenience store he has run with his wife for 36 years when a masked man burst through the door, brandishing a 6in blade.

David Sykes, 70, fought off a knife-wielding thug. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

David Sykes, 70, fought off a knife-wielding thug. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Mr Sykes gave the attacker a bear-hug and the two crashed to the floor before the robber ran out of the shop empty handed.

Mr Sykes said: “This man ran into the store screaming his head off and attacked me from behind.

“There was no time to register what was going on, but instinct kicked in and I thought to myself ‘I’m having this guy’.

“I didn’t see the knife until half-a-second after I was fully committed to the fight.

“I went after him and challenged him and we tussled and then bear hugged on to the counter which then collapsed.

“It made a mess of the shop. We ended up on the floor.

“Everything was scattered about on the floor and the counter had flipped upside down.

“I could just see the panic button was in reach, so I pushed it and all the alarms went off.

“He was straight out of the shop and up the street, running for cover.”

The attack happened on Monday, minutes after the shop in Elland, near Halifax, opened.

The suspect is described as white, around 19-years-old, 5ft 7ins tall and of a slim build. He was wearing a grey hoodie-type top with the hood pulled up, grey jeans and used a scarf to cover his face.

Anyone with information should contact Halifax CID on 01422 337029, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.