Every time I watch a movie or news where they show the footage of a hold up in progress, I can’t help but remember my own experience a few years ago. I know it has been 2 years now but I still can’t get the incident out of my mind.
It was Monday evening on October 2009, I was working a late shift so my friend, SM, came to pick me up from work. As it was late we decided it would be easier to grab a bite from MacDonald’s on the way home than going to a restaurant. So we parked the car in the car park of MacDonald’s in St Peter’s inSydney
The place was quiet with only a handful of people having dinner. We ordered a burger meal and a wrap. While at the counter to pay the bill, I realised that I had forgotten my wallet at home (luckily I should say after what happened later) so SM paid for me. It was lucky that I was not alone otherwise imagine the embarrassment when I couldn’t pay after my meal was already prepared. We took a table near the door and I put my hand bag on the table as I normally do so that I don’t forget it and leave it behind.
Anyway, we had our meal and were just about to leave the place when two bandits stormed into the store and started shouting. One of them was a skinny guy who was carrying a long machete and the other one was a big guy who was carrying a baseball bat. Both of them had balaclava so we could only see their eyes.
Everyone was a bit confused in the beginning because no expects to be in a hold up when you go to a MacDonald’s for a meal. I and SM looked at each other and stayed seated on our table. They yelled out “keep quiet and sit down”.
There was a lady who was holding a tray of food and was a bit slow going back to the table. The big guy hit the tray with the baseball bat and the food was everywhere. I was so scared at this point thinking he may hit us too. He was less than a foot away from me and shouting. In the mean time, the skinny guy held the machete towards the manager and asked him to take him to the safe where all the money was. Both of them disappeared at the back while the big guy was trying to control rest of the patrons.
There were two entrances to this MacDonald’s. At one entrance there was a getaway car waiting but from the second entrance an Asian looking older man entered. We just looked at him as he didn’t realise that he had walked into a hold up. Poor man, I think he didn’t speak and understand English so when the fat guy asked him to sit down, he just looked at him in confusion. At this point, the guy got angry and took a swing with his baseball bat at this poor man’s head. I thought the old man died but thank god he had a thick skull. He didn’t bleed at all but instantly he had this big lump on his head, the size of an apple. He just dropped to the ground unconscious and a lady rushed to him saying she is a nurse.
The environment got more tense. The fat guy started shouting “Hurry up man!” to the skinny guy at the back and I could see he was getting impatient. Then he saw my bag on the table. He just took it and started emptying it on the floor. Luckily I had my mobile in my pocket and had forgotten the wallet so it had really nothing except a make up bag. As he didn’t find anything, he just threw it on the ground. If you read the news article of the robbery, the lady with the purse is me 😦
The skinny guy came running out with a few bags full of money and both of them ran towards the waiting getaway car.
All this happened in a space of 5-10 minutes but it has scarred me forever. For weeks after this happened, I couldn’t sleep properly.
I think within 5 minutes of the robbers leaving the place, the police and ambulance was there. Police started questioning the witnesses and the poor old man was taken to a hospital.
The next day I saw the news on TV and in the newspapers. We didn’t tell anyone about it then as we didn’t want our parents and family to get worried. I only told one of my close friends and AS when I met him in Nepal later.
Here is the link from the national newspapers running that story.
I always felt Sydney was a safe place and nothing had happened to me (touch wood) until then. But after that incident I am more careful and look around when I am out and about. I am glad I got out of the situation without any harm but I definitely was in the wrong place at the wrong time.