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Judo Hero Bitten...now HIV?
Judo hold ends robbery bid
Lizel Steenkamp Johannesburg - A judo instructor allegedly broke an armed robber's neck during a wild wrestle, but now fears he might have contracted HIV.
Dick Crafford, 44, of Johannesburg had to receive antiretroviral treatment on Wednesday morning after the robber drew blood by biting Crafford on his fingers and on the right thigh. A piece of tissue and skin was pulled from the index finger on his right hand.
Dr Naseema Barday-Karbanee, who treated Crafford, said bites did not normally pose a big HIV risk, but they had decided not to take any chances. "If the suspect's blood test is negative, we will stop Crafford's antiretroviral treatment.
Crafford, who recently returned from the All Africa Games in Nigeria where he acted as a judo referee, went to fetch money from the Berg shopping centre in Bergbron, Johannesburg, just after 07:00 on Wednesday. He owns an automatic cellphone-card machine in the Spar.
A robber overpowered Crafford and Pieter Grobler, manager of the Spar, while they were counting money in the office. Crafford jumped up to disarm the man. "I bent his hand back. It happened very fast. He was yelling like a madman." A second robber fired a shot in the office and wounded Grobler in his right hand. The second robber fled while Crafford was wrestling with his accomplice.
"The man tried to get up and I held him around his neck. I thought I would wait for the police in this position." The man lost consciousness. "It wasn't my intention to kill him. I thought he had fainted. I am very hurt by this. I am sorry for him and his family."
Inspector Susan Storm said two suspects fled after their accomplice died. "The robber's neck might have been broken, but a post-mortem will have to confirm this."
Crafford said he wasn't being courageous. "I have practised to disarm a person and knew what to expect. He was much taller than me and aggressive - I just wanted to save our lives," said Crafford. The pistol with which Grobler was shot was reported as stolen in Hillbrow earlier on Wednesday morning. A video recording on the closed-circuit television cameras in the Spar will be used to identify the other suspects.
Last edited by blankslate; 10/31/2003 10:36am at .