A TAKEAWAY owner has told how he foiled a knifepoint robbery by seizing the blade with his bare hands and wrenching it from his attacker.
The Chinese restaurateur, who asked not to be identified, had been chopping vegetables in the kitchen of the Sunrise takeaway on Niddrie Mains Road when two masked raiders leapt the counter and began jabbing a foot-long knife towards his chest.
Fearing he could be killed, the businessman pleaded for mercy before grabbing the knife with both hands and forcing it away from his body.
The terrifying ordeal only came to an end when the robbers fled after hearing the screams of a neighbour, who had stumbled upon the hold-up, leaving their victim nursing deep wounds in his palms but still clutching the bloodied weapon.
Interpreted through his wife, the takeaway owner, who speaks little English, said: “My heart was beating very fast and it was a very scary situation for me and my wife.
“The two men jumped the counter and, without saying anything, came towards me in the back of the shop and began pointing the knife at me.
“I was saying ‘no, no, no’ and tried to block the knife by pushing hard on his forearm but then I just grabbed the knife with my hands and held on.”
The owner needed stitches in both hands following the incident, which took place at 10.15pm on Thursday night, and said he and his wife were left badly shaken. The suspects were last seen running towards Craigmillar Castle Road where one was spotted pulling off his mask. It is understood police have since recovered the Balaclava.
The neighbour who alerted police said: “I was at the back door of my house next to Sunrise takeaway and could see what was happening through a door in the kitchen that was left open.
“I thought I heard a scuffle then the next minute I saw the takeaway owner walking backwards and a masked man was pointing a knife inches from his chest.
“I began screaming that I was phoning the police. I did this twice and I think the robber saw me standing there and then he ran off.”
Police have launched an investigation into what they are treating as an attempted robbery which they believe was racially motivated, and are appealing for witnesses.
The first robber is described as being white, 5ft 10ins tall, well-built, bald, and wearing black clothing.
The second man is described as black, 5ft 4ins tall, in his early 20s, and wearing a black jacket and a grey hooded top.
A police spokesman said: “While the suspects left empty-handed, their actions have caused a great deal of distress to the staff working at the takeaway, not least the man who suffered an injury to his hand.
“We are investigating the attack as being racially motivated, and we are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident, who noticed the two men there, to contact police.
“Similarly, anyone who has any other information that can assist our inquiries should also get in touch.”