Newsagent owner Mark Yates fought off two youths while making his morning newspaper run. Picture: Evan Morgan
Newsagent owner Mark Yates fought off two youths while making his morning newspaper run. Picture: Evan Morgan

‘I broke his nose’: Businessman clocks crim

THE owner of a Townsville newsagency was assaulted in an attempted robbery on Sunday morning, but the two juveniles who allegedly jumped him might be in worse shape than they bargained for.

Mark Yates, 53, owner of The Strand Newsagency in North Ward had just started his newspaper run about 4.15am on Mitchell St when two youths lurking in the shadows made a comment about his "flash car".

One of the boys then grabbed at Mr Yates' back pocket, as if to steal his wallet, and that's when the karate brown belt flicked the switch on years of previous training.

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Mr Yates said he swung around and punched the kid twice in the face, causing the other kid to step in and punch him on the side of the head.

"I've got a nice old headache, and I'll probably get a black eye," he said.

"But I managed to get a couple in and I think I broke one of (the kids') nose.

"The one that I first hit kept yelling expletives like 'my effin nose'."

 

Newsagent owner Mark Yates fought off two youths while making his morning newspaper run. Picture: Evan Morgan
Newsagent owner Mark Yates fought off two youths while making his morning newspaper run. Picture: Evan Morgan

 

Mark’s knuckles are a little worse for wear. Picture: Evan Morgan
Mark’s knuckles are a little worse for wear. Picture: Evan Morgan

 

 

 

Mr Yates lost skin off his knuckles but is otherwise okay, and after being assessed by paramedics and taken to the hospital, he is now resting at home on the wife's orders.

He said he was the fourth assault victim admitted to Townsville University Hospital yesterday after an apparent spate of attacks.

"When I was a lot younger I did martial arts and it's something you never forget," he said.

"You get to a stage in life where you don't need this type of shit, but I wasn't going to make it easy for them."

The kids ran away with nothing, but it could have been worse.

Mr Yates said he normally kept his car running because he usually ducks into the back of a shop, chucks a bundle of papers, and moves on.

This time he chose to lock his three-week old Kia Seltos.

While The Strand and North Ward are considered safer areas, he said there had been more "undesirables" lurking in the area of late.

Earlier this month the popular tourist strip became the scene of a dramatic citizen's arrest, after a group of kids in an allegedly stolen car collided head-on with another vehicle outside The Watermark.

Queensland Police confirmed two juveniles wearing dark clothes ran away from the alleged assault and have not been arrested.

Investigations are ongoing.


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