Black belt publican gives bandits run for money
THREE would-be grog thieves who broke into the Miriwinni Hotel north of Innisfail found themselves in a no- holds-barred cagefight yesterday morning when they were confronted by the publican.
The trio picked the wrong bloke in 43-year-old Rob McEwan, who recently completed his fourth-dan black belt in the martial art of Taekwondo.
Mr McEwan, who lives upstairs in the pub with his wife and four children, was woken about 1.35am when he heard the intruders force entry downstairs.
Little did the bandits realise they had entered the pub with no fear.
"I was just ticked off. I've studied martial arts for 30 years, so I was quite prepared," Mr McEwan said.
"I thought there was one guy to start with. I met him inside and we had a bit of a struggle and he came off second best.
"The other two have come from behind a storage area and hit me with a bottle, then I turned and gave them a go."
The robbers back-pedalled before putting on a run leg that would have done Miriwinni's favourite son, triathlete Brad Beven, proud, as they fled into nearby canefields.
Fortunately, Mr McEwan received only minor injuries from the tequila slammer to the head that wasted a perfectly good 750ml bottle of Jose Cuervo Especial.
However, the outcome could have been far more serious than the four stitches the father-of-four later received at Babinda Hospital.
"I'm fine, I've got some stitches in my head from the bottle and a couple of minor cuts from the broken glass but that's about it," Mr McEwan said.
"I was more concerned about my family as we were all upstairs at the time."
Scientific police took numerous samples from the scene yesterday and investigations are continuing in an attempt to locate the three offenders.
Anyone who can help the investigation is urged to contact Innisfail Police on 4061 5777 or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 with any information.
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Tequila slammer: Miriwinni publican Rob McEwan has four stitches in his head after being hit with a bottle by thieves. Picture: JOHN FLYNN