A South African man living in London has been described as a hero after taking on a mugger who had stolen a woman’s handbag.
Durban-born poet and massage therapist Neil Gevisser, 60, was leaving a west London tube station when he heard a woman screaming and saw a man running towards him, the Times reported.
The man was dressed in motorcycle gear and was running against the traffic to his scooter, which had not been turned off. Gevisser karate-kicked the scooter, causing it to fall over.
The man had apparently broken a car window and had stolen a handbag from the car.
The mugger then came up to Gevisser, who gave him a roundhouse kick to the stomach and shins.
The mugger then hobbled away. Police were on the scene within minutes but the mugger was gone.
The woman, whose handbag had been taken, found it in the scooter, which had also been stolen.
She thanked Gevisser for his heroic actions.
Gevisser is from Durban but was forced to leave South Africa in the early 70s after writing anti-apartheid poetry. His cousin is the well-known author, Mark Gevisser, biographer of former President Thabo Mbeki.
Neil Gevisser has worked as a massage therapist with well-known tennis players like John McEnroe and Pete Sampras.
Gevisser said he didn’t think what he had done was particularly heroic, but that he felt one shouldn’t just walk on by. He said one should intervene if something wrong was happening.
He added that he had been doing karate since his teens.