A HAVE-a-go hero today told how he fearlessly chased two suspected shoplifters across Blackpool before wrestling them to the ground.
Martial Arts trainer Kenny Walker, 27, was fixing his gate at his home when he saw the pair running away from a security guard and store manager from Lidl on Bloomfield Road, South Shore.
The father-of-two was soon hot on their heels, chasing them across Revoe Park, Seasiders Way and on to Blackpool Football Club car park.
He grabbed one of the alleged thieves by the hood, pulling him to the ground.
As the thief was detained by the Lidl staff, Mr Walker set off in pursuit of the other man, who had managed to escape over a fence near McDonald’s on Rigby Road.
Mr Walker, a brown belt in karate, added: “I shouted ‘stop running or I’ll put you on the floor’.
“I jumped over the fence and he just came running at me and we had a scuffle.
“At that point I really thought I was in the deep end, I thought it was going to go a bit wrong. He took a swing for me and caught me at the side of my face. So I put him in a wrist lock and he couldn’t get up off the ground.
“I had him pinned to the ground but he was trying to bite and scratch me.
“I didn’t realise how big he was, he was a stocky bloke.”
Seconds later police arrived and took over .
Today, Mr Walker, who helps out with martial arts training for children at Zen on Hornby Road in Blackpool, was praised by supermarket bosses who said he had gone “beyond the call of duty”.
Mr Walker added: “I probably shouldn’t have done it, you don’t know what could have happened or if they have got weapons and I’ve got kids.
“The manager asked me if I’d seen two guys. They had just passed me so I offered to drive them round and we jumped in my car.
“When they spotted us they started running so I jumped out of the car and legged it.
“It all happened really quick.”
The pair had allegedly stolen meat and alcohol from Lidl on Wednesday at 5.30pm .
A spokesman for Lidl said: “It’s with much gratitude we would like to thank Mr Walker for all his assistance in helping to detain a shoplifter from our Bloomfield Road store.
“Lidl always takes a strong line with shoplifters and at all times will prosecute and, thanks to Mr Walker going beyond the call of duty to help us, we’re able to do so in this case.”
n Two men, aged 27 and 32, have been charged with theft and will appear before Blackpool Magistrates Court.