'I was acting on instinct', says hero mechanic who brought down bike thief
The cycle mechanic who became an internet sensation when a video of him tackling a bike thief went viral has said he had only a split second to act.
Marius Judickas (31) was locking up the 360 Cycles store in Clontarf on Monday when a youth tried to steal his €2,500 carbon-frame bike.
Without hesitation, Marius jumped on the thief bringing him, and the bike, crashing down outside the shop.
CCTV footage shows how Marius was out of sight of the bike for only 17 seconds when the thief struck.
The time it took the thief to grab the bike and try to pedal away was less than five seconds.
"It was bank holiday Monday and we should have closed at 6pm but we were very busy so I stayed longer," Marius told the Herald.
"I had taken my bike - a Merida Cyclo Cross 5000 - outside the shop and was locking the door when I sensed it moving.
"Then I heard somebody shouting, 'go, go, go', so I knew something was wrong.
"When I looked around, I could see this guy on the bike trying to get away."
The CCTV footage shows Marius leaning the bike against the wall outside the shop, then stepping back to lock the door. After a few seconds, two youths who were cycling past can be seen stopping and eyeing up Marius's bike.
One of them gets off his bike and gives it to his accomplice, who cycles out of frame.
The thief then grabs Marius's bike and is about to pedal away when Marius appears back in frame, leaps on him, and thwarts his escape.
"I wasn't thinking. There was no strategy, it was just instinct," said Marius.
"We ended up on the road and I got up and stepped away. The guy had an injury to his face and he hung around for a second, and that's when I saw the other guy coming back.
"It looked like they were going to have another go but they changed their mind and left. I wanted to keep them in my line of sight in case one of them tried to attack me."
Marius said the youth he tackled appeared to be in his late teens.
"The bike is slightly damaged," said Marius. "The brake rotors and levers and the saddle are bent but that's better than having the bike disappear."
Marius said he thinks the attempt to take his bike was opportunistic rather than planned.
"I leave the shop at different times each day of the week. What's more, it was a bank holiday Monday, so I think these guys were just cycling by and thought they would grab the bike.
"It would be a hard bike to sell because there are not that many around but the thief might have sold it on for a quick €100. Who knows?"
Marius's advice to fellow cyclists is to keep their bikes locked when unattended, even if they leave them for only a few seconds.
"You really can't take your eye off them," he said.
Gardai are investigating.