Don’t underestimate Denis O’Connor. The great-grandfather was quick to jump into the fray when three thieves tried to break into the safe at a betting shop in Ireland. The attempted robbery, which lasted just about 30 seconds, happened September 15 in the town of Glanmire. Surveillance video from Bar One Racing captured the fight and has been viewed more than 859,000 times.
Here’s what you need to know.
Denis O’Connor Appeared Unfazed Having a Shotgun Pointed at Him; He Simply Turned and Began Wrestling Another Robber
The three suspects entered the shop and were looking for the safe. The surveillance video did not include audio, but the action was loud and clear.
In the video, you can see that all three suspects were armed, one with a gun and the other two with hammers. The two holding tools rushed the counter, where store manager Patrick Murphy was standing. They waved the hammers around and eventually both men ended up behind the counter with Murphy.
The third suspect was pointing a shotgun in O’Connor’s face. But after pausing for a moment, O’Connor simply turned and walked toward the counter as well. He wrestled one of the suspects, forcing that man to run away. O’Connor then picked up a stool and attempted to chase after the man holding the shotgun, but he ran out the door as well.
Meanwhile, the store manager had been wrestling with the other suspect, who had decided it was time to flee as well. O’Connor managed to kick the man on his way out. The three would-be thieves did not manage to steal anything. Police are still looking for the suspects.
O’Connor Has Denied Interview Requests and Has Appeared to Shrug off the Suggestion That His Actions Were a Big Deal
Denis O’Connor has refused to be interviewed on-camera since the attempted robbery, according to Irish station RTE News, which first shared the surveillance video.
Irish news website Independent did speak with O’Connor after the incident. The website reported that O’Connor, who will turn 85-years-old in November, is apparently not a big fan of all the attention. Shop manager Patrick Murphy called O’Connor a “genuine hero.”
But O’Connor downplayed his response to the three suspects. He told the news outlet, “I didn’t really think about it – I just went for it. You can either sit down and do nothing or take a stand. I decided to stand up to these people.”
O’Connor also explained that he was able to take on the suspects because his age has not slowed him down. “I keep fit. I go to the gym and a do a bit of swimming. I suppose you could say I am fit.”