A promising amateur MMA fighter tackled a mugger who had robbed an 83-year-old woman and warned him “if you go anywhere near your pockets I’ll put you to sleep”.
Macauley Peckitt, 22, chased Mark Groves who had grabbed a pensioner’s handbag in a nasty street attack, kicked his legs away and got him in a hold which can restrict blood flow to the brain.
The young amateur fighter, who has won all four of his MMA bouts in the first round and who hopes to turn pro, held on to the mugger for several minutes until police arrived.
Groves, 45, of Trouthall Lane, Skelton, Cleveland, was jailed for 27 months last week at Teesside Crown Court after he admitted robbery. A court official confirmed the sentence.
After the case, Mr Peckitt who is an electro-mechanical engineer, recalled the dramatic incident in February when he was out walking the dog with his girlfriend Megan Keaveney.
The Guisborough fighter who trains at Middlesbrough Ju Jitsu and Vale Tudo Club said: “We walked past a little old lady and then I saw a shady looking character, you just instantly knew.
“After walking past them for about 10 seconds, I heard the old lady shouting and wailing.
“I gave my girlfriend the dog lead and went after him.
“I chased him for about 100m, kicked his legs and jumped on his back.
“I got him in a hold called a rear naked choke.
“These days you don’t know if people are carrying knives so I said ‘If you go anywhere near your pockets, I’ll put you to sleep’.”
Mr Peckitt said MMA fighters are trained to use the choke to restrict the blood flow to an opponent’s head and make them pass out.
He said: “I had it tight enough so he knew I had him, but there was no point where he couldn’t breathe.”
The incident happened near Guisborough Police station and officers were on the scene to arrest Groves within a couple of minutes, Mr Peckitt said.
The following week the featherweight won his fourth MMA bout and he is rated one of the top 30 amateurs in the country.
Speaking about his bravery, he said he hoped other people would do the same to help.
He said: “I didn’t even have time for the adrenaline to kick in, it happened that fast.”
According to the Teesside-based Gazette newspaper, the pensioner was unhurt in the robbery but has been left afraid and the ordeal has knocked her confidence.