Radio Sandwell Local News

Car-jackers flee in terror after targeting the wrong person to mess with

2015-08-21 22:51:52

Hector PinkneyHector Pinkney

A community leader and karate black belt known as ‘Mr Handsworth’ has told how he fought off two robbers who attempted to steal his car.

The masked thugs targeted youth mentor and MBE holder Hector Pinkney, 63, as he sat in his Audi A4 in Claremont Road, Hockley.

But they picked on the wrong man.

Because when they opened his door and threw a punch, the martial arts expert easily blocked the blow - then chased the startled robbers down the road, where they jumped into a waiting Ford Focus containing two other men.

But Mr Pinkney was not finished. He tried to jump onto the silver getaway car, but slipped off. He then had to dive out of the way when the vehicle was driven straight at him.

Mr Pinkney said: “It was a nasty experience - but I’m a black belt in karate and can look after myself.”

The robbers struck at 5.45pm yesterday as the youth worker sat in his car after gardening at Hockley Flyover Adventure Playground.

He said: “I was sitting in my car about to leave when I saw someone at my window.

“At first I just thought it was one of the young people from the centre coming over to speak, but then I saw he was wearing a balaclava.

“He opened the door and said ‘get out, get out of the car’ and threw a punch at me. But I blocked it, then got out of the car.

“I think he realised he had messed with the wrong person and ran off and I chased him and the other guy.”

The drama continued as the four men tried to flee in the Focus.

Mr Pinkney, who suffered cuts and bruises, said: “I grabbed onto the car as they sped off, but slipped onto the floor. They spun the car round and drove at me but I managed to dive out of the way.

“I am just relieved it was me they picked on and not someone else who was more vulnerable.”

West Midlands Police spokesman said: “We were called to Claremont Road at about 5.45pm yesterday after reports of a car-jacking involving four men.

“Mr Pinkney’s car has now been seized for forensic tests. We are investigating and appeal for people with information to contact us on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”

Mr Pinkney was given an MBE four years ago after devoting himself to the inner-city community, including helping in youth work, organising talent shows, a running club and exercise classes for the elderly.

His family had also been involved in community work since arriving in Handsworth from Jamaica in 1962.

His late mother Mavis used to run a youth club from her home in Leonard Road back in the 1960s and had campaigned to help fund the Muhammad Ali Centre.

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