‘Big Bad John’ (77) fights off three robbers in CBD

2016-04-20 11:56
77-year-old ‘Big Bad John’ Oxley demonstrates how he fought off three men who tried to stab and rob him in the CBD.

77-year-old ‘Big Bad John’ Oxley demonstrates how he fought off three men who tried to stab and rob him in the CBD. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - With a knife against his neck, ­77-year-old John Oxley knew that he would have to fight to survive.

Oxley, nicknamed “Big Bad John” after a song from the 1960s, was ­attacked by three men on Church Street on Tuesday, one of them ­wielding a knife.

Oxley said he had been at the ­Pietermaritzburg City Hall in the morning, giving quotes for repairs, and had decided to walk to Selgro Centre.

“There was a man I knew at Selgro, so I decided to walk down Church Street to the centre.”

Oxley said he had just passed the Bessie Head Library and was passing the taxi rank when all of a sudden a man grabbed him from behind and placed a knife to his neck, while two other men held down his arms and shouted for him to hand over his phone.

“The one man had a knife, ­although it was more like the head of a spear, and the blade was pressing into my neck.

“The other two men had grabbed my arms and I had to think quickly.”

Oxley said he elbowed the man with the knife in the ribs so hard, he immediately released his grip from around his neck.

“Then I looked up, and one of the other men was in front of me. I punched him in the face.”

Oxley said the men then ran off and, although they escaped with his cellphone, Oxley only had a small cut from the incident.

“If I had not fought back, I would have been severely injured, maybe dead,” he said.

Oxley’s wife, Gloria, said she was “so proud” of her husband and was “extremely grateful” that he had not been hurt.

“His life was in danger and he fought,” she said.

“If he had not fought, I am certain he would be dead.”

Oxley said it had been a busy morning on Church Street and everyone “froze” when the attack happened.

“Everyone just stood around and watched while the attack happened. I think they were all scared of what would happen to them if they got ­involved.”

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.