By Nick Smith
Security footage has captured the moment a clown mask wearing armed robber was thwarted by two coppers who had stopped by for a cuppa at a Coventry McDonalds.
The restaurant manager said it was “miraculous” that the two officers arrived right on cue to tackle and arrest knife-wielding Zachary Ryan at the Alvis Retail Park eatery, who was jailed for five years at Warwick Crown Court yesterday.
Ryan, 41, of no fixed address, jumped over the counter and pointed the eight-inch blade into the 28-year-old’s manager stomach as he demanded cash takings but his timing could not have been worse as two West Midlands police officers had just nipped in on a break.
As customers fled, the two officers rushed toward Ryan who was quickly tasered, disarmed and arrested, police say.
The restaurant manager said: “I was in the office having finished my shift when I heard a scream from one of my team.
“I ran out to find a man in a clown mask holding a big knife…I can remember the light glinting off the blade.
“He made threats for money and when I told him we only had one till with cash, and that there wasn’t much in it, he got agitated and pushed the knife against my stomach.
“I turned to go back to the office, to buy some time; I knew it was a case of fight or flight and I had a decision to make.
“But the moment I turned my back I heard a loud crack; I didn’t realise at the time but it was the sound of the police officer’s taser going off.”
After pleading guilty to one count of robbery at Warwick Crown Court on 9 September, Ryan was locked up for five years at the same court yesterday (24 October) with three years to be spent on licence.
West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Kat Sibley said: “The officers were patrolling shortly after midnight and had stopped on a ‘refs’ break.
“They were in exactly the right place at the right time.
“Thankfully no-one was hurt and the man has rightly been handed a jail term for what was a nasty robbery.”
The manager added: “I’ll always be grateful for what they did that night.
“They and their colleagues are welcome to pop in for a coffee on their break whenever they like!”