Dramatic footage of a would-be takeaway till raider being bravely confronted by a baseball-bat wielding Doncaster shop worker has gone viral on social media.
The Yorkshire Pie House in Silver Street has released the incredible CCTV footage which shows assistant Leonardo Van Helden frightening off the ma is seen on camera attempting to wrench the cash register from the counter.
But amazingly, the owner of the pie restaurant has declined to press charges - and has invited the man to return for a slap-up feed and to forgive and forget.
The drama unfolded shortkly before 7.30pm on Tuesday when a man walked into the town centre eatery complaining to Mr Van Helden that he was hungry, thirsty and if he could have a glass of water.
But it soon turned out the request for a drink was merely a distraction as the man made an attempt to grab the till and try and escape.
In a brave turn of events, the shop worker, grabbed a small bat from a nearby shelf, leapt over the counter and proceeded to chase the man out the shop.
Despite his failure to get away with takings, the would-be thief caused quite serious damage to the till in his attempt.
The man was quickly arrested as police were near the scene, but in a show of heart from the Yorkshire Pie House, the owner of the eatery, Andy Milner, wants to forget the entire episode and is offering the man the chance to come in, apologise to his staff, be forgiven and get a free meal.
Mr Milner said: “Firstly I would like to commend my staff member Leonardo for his bravery in facing the man.
“It took courage what he did and there are others that wouldn’t but it also took a lot of self control not to harm the would be thierf because we are all very protective and proud of the business we run.
“The man was arrested within minutes but we have since become aware that he is potentially homeless, hungry, desperate and did something very stupid because of this.
“We do not condone the man’s actions as no matter how desperate he may have been, you should never go to the lengths where you are affecting or hurting someone else just to get what you want.
“That being said, we do whatever we can to help the homeless in the community, recently launching a “feed the homeless” scheme, so we were a little bit sickened that this could have happened to us following this campaign.
“However I want to say that we are willing to forgive and forget if the man comes in and apologises for what he has done.
“If he is that hungry and that desperate, we will point him in the right direction to get support and also give him a free meal in our restaurant.”
The video has nearly been seen 40,000 times in 24 hour after being posted on Facebook.
Added Mr Milner: “I think Leonardo will be an internet star come the end of the week.
“We have to keep protection behind the counter as a deterrent and to protect ourselves if unsavoury characters come into the establishment, and Leonardo deserves high praise for taking on this person when many may have been rightly frightened to do so.
“We will let police deal with the matter but we have no interest in seeing him charged and convicted, which will only worsen his obviously dire situation and we will be informing the police straight away of our suggestion.”