Barman fights off teen thieves
THE brazen nature of the break-in of an inner-city Toowoomba hotel by a group of teenagers has alarmed experienced barman Mick Fahey.
Bar manager Mr Fahey was locking up the Mill Street Tavern just after midnight when the youths used a large rock to smash their way in through the glass panelled front door of the hotel on the corner of Campbell and Mill Sts.
“I was just putting the night’s figures on the computer when I heard a loud bang,” Mr Fahey said.
“I raced out of the office to see them with a large rock banging against the glass panel.
“I yelled at them to stop or I’d call the police and you’d think they would have stopped at that point but they didn’t, they just kept on banging with the rock until they could get in.”
Mr Fahey rang 000 but by the time he had been put through to police the three teens had forced their way into the pub.
The drama was captured by the bar’s security cameras which show the brazen trio running past Mr Fahey as he was telephoning police.
The intruders went straight behind the bar and were grabbing bottles of spirits when Mr Fahey grabbed a wooden broomstick handle and tried to fight back.
“One of them threw a bottle of Sambuca at me which smashed into my arms,” he said, showing the cuts on his arm left by the breaking bottle.
“Then as they were leaving one of them threw a bar stool at me which hit me in the head.”
Bleeding from cuts to his arm, Mr Fahey tried again to ring police as the trio made good their escape, running off on Campbell St.
Police arrested two teenagers for the brazen attack later that morning.
A 16-year-old boy is due to face Toowoomba Children’s Court on May 5 on a charge of entering a premises with intent to commit a crime, while a 17-year-old man will front Toowoomba Magistrates Court on May 9 on charges of entering a premises with intent to commit a crime and assault occasioning bodily harm of Mr Fahey.
The popular barman who has worked in a number of Toowoomba hotels for more than 20 years said he had never experienced anything like that morning.
“It was scary at first because when it all started I could only see figures in the dark outside the door,” he said.
“I didn’t know how many were out there but I could tell there were at least three people.
“Then when they got inside the pub I just got angry.
“Luckily all the money and most of the stock was locked away by then.
“Had they have turned up five minutes later I would have been gone and they would have had the pub to themselves.
“It seems a lot of trouble and a lot of risk to go to just for a few bottles of Sambuca,” Mr Fahey said.