A burly teenager has been hailed a hero after he leapt from a bus to chase down and rugby tackle a hapless mugger who had snatched an old lady’s handbag.
The scrawny thief hadn’t counted on 6ft 5in passenger Daniel Hardy, 18, sitting near the terrified granny on the bus when she had her bag robbed on January 11.
But muscle-bound Daniel sprang into action as the would-be crook fled the vehicle and chased him for quarter of a mile along the street in Long Eaton, Derbys.
After catching up with the man, the 15 stone fitness fanatic bravely wrestled him to the ground to snatch back the bag – and return it to the grateful pensioner.
The modest teen – who goes to the gym six times a week – said: “It was an instinctive thing more than anything. I don’t really know how to explain it.
“I would have thought anyone else would do the same thing, but to be honest a lot of people have said to me since they wouldn’t want to do it nowadays.
“I ran straight off the bus and round the corner after him. I’m quite sporty and go to the gym six times a week – so I caught up with him no problem, and tackled him to the ground.
“He went down like a tonne of bricks to the pavement and I snatched the bag back.
“I’m 18 and people have been saying how a lot of young people would not have done what I did – I think that’s a stereotype that perhaps I’ve proved wrong.
“The lady was really thankful.
“People were saying ‘thank you so much’ and there were a couple of other women with her who said I was a hero.”
Daniel had just got on the Trent Barton indigo bus in Derby Road after work when the mugging happened at 5.10pm.
The driver called out after seeing the thief snatch the 79-year-old victim’s bag and run off.
Beefy Daniel wrestled with the mugger in nearby Trent Street, before retrieving the bag.
A man in a red coat – who police have still not traced – helped detain the crook while Daniel called police and ran back to the bus stop to return the OAPs belongings.
But when Daniel returned to where the robber had been restrained by the passer-by – both had gone.
Police believe the crook might have wriggled free and escaped while the other man gave chase.
Shop-worker Daniel – who plans to become a personal trainer – added: “It’s a shame he got away, but at least he got away empty handed.
“I would definitely do it again.
“People have been talking about it – I know my mum told a few shopkeepers and I’ve had a few random people come up to me and say I should be proud of what I did.”
Derbyshire Police are still hunting the robber, who was described as white, about 5ft 10in and slim.
He had short, greying hair and wore a dark jacket, dark blue jeans and a baseball cap.
Detective Constable Denise Sandall said: “This is a serious crime and we are grateful to Mr Hardy and the other passers-by who put themselves at risk by detaining the suspect and helping the elderly victim.
“However, the robber escaped and we need the public’s help to identify him.
“If you saw the robbery, or if you have any information, please contact us.”