Originally written by KAREN SWEENEY
FEW people would be brave enough to confront an armed robber but Ken Dacomb is.
The Hamilton farmer is being presented with a bravery award for his part in stopping a robbery at Hamilton’s James Dean Pharmacy.
Mr Dacomb was on his way into the Learmonth St chemist when female staff ran out of the shop saying a man had threatened them with a knife.
Thinking quickly he ran to his car to get his mobile phone and chased the man who tried to flee the shop.
“There were all women inside the shop at the time and they ran out and said there was a guy inside with a knife,” Mr Dacomb said.
“I chased him for about one kilometre and was dialing 000 at the same time, giving them a description of the offender and our whereabouts.”
Being a keen marathon runner, cyclist, triathlete and rugby player, the chase was no hard work for Mr Dacomb who was twice threatened with the knife by the man.
“I cornered him and he threatened me with the knife twice,” he said.
“I felt a bit vulnerable so I backed off … I had nothing to confront him with.”
The chase took them through a park and the Catholic Church grounds and into Gray St.
“I made two 000 calls and the police van arrived in Gray St … he ran through the houses and the police took over.
“It was fairly dramatic and traumatic, you don’t think about it when it happens.”
Mr Dacomb, who came to Australia from South Africa 30 years ago, said he didn’t think about the situation until it was over.
“Afterwards I started to reflect on the ‘what ifs’ like what if I’d fallen over or lost the phone,” he said.
“The simple reason (he did it) is the look on the girls’ faces when they said a guy with a knife threatened them.
“Had it been in a major city like Melbourne or Sydney I don’t know if I would have.”
Mr Dacomb said he was honoured to receive the bravery award but said he was not a hero.
“No I’m not at all,” he said.
“It’s just something you react to act the time.
“My wife used to work in the shop so I knew the girls; it’s a bit like home.”