A Woden cafe manager has turned the tables on a knife-wielding man in scenes reminiscent of Crocodile Dundee, using a much bigger blade to scare the would-be robber away just a few metres from a police station.
The identity of the balaclava-clad criminal was confirmed in the ACT Supreme Court on Friday, when Touhid Rahman pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted aggravated robbery.
The 36-year-old Phillip man is yet to agree on the precise facts of his offending, but police have given their version of the daylight incident in court documents.
According to them, Rahman entered the La Cruzada Cafe carrying a 20-centimetre knife and a Coles shopping bag about 1.40pm on September 10 last year.
The documents say he walked to within one metre of the manager, who was behind the counter, and repeatedly started saying: "Give me all the money."
What happened next brings to mind the classic film scene in which Paul Hogan's character famously spooks an armed assailant by declaring "that's not a knife" and pulling out a much larger blade.
The manager told Rahman that he needed to get the keys to the till, giving him an excuse to move towards the kitchen and grab a large meat cutting knife.
Showing the offender that he was now armed, the manager loudly asked: "What do you want? What do you want?"
At this point, Rahman is said to have run from the cafe towards his nearby unit, followed part of the way by the manager.
Police say that less than two hours later, Rahman told a mental health worker that "he went to the pizza place opposite the police station, put on a balaclava and took a knife but was chased out by someone with a bigger knife".
He was arrested later the same day, when police say they stopped him near the same cafe and found a screwdriver in his pocket.
While Rahman was being escorted to a police car, he apparently yelled in the direction of the business and accused its employees of lacing his pizza with cocaine.
When Rahman was arraigned in court on Friday and asked how he wished to plead, he replied: "Guilty, please".
Chief Justice Helen Murrell said she would sentence the 36-year-old, who is in custody on remand, next Tuesday morning.
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