Barberian Fights Off Attacker, Posts Video To You Tube
Toronto Star, Canada Dec 23 2014
Well known Toronto restaurateur Arron Barberian posted a surveillance video of himself repelling a street mugging outside Barberian's Steakhouse
By: Marco Chown Oved Staff Reporter
This mugger isn't a Jays fan.
Otherwise he might have recognized the grey haired restaurant owner and thought twice about trying to rob him as he walked down the street with a full cash box Monday morning.
Arron Barberian, current proprietor of Barberian's Steakhouse and TLP near Yonge St. and Gerrard Ave, became something of an internet sensation when he caught a bat that flew into the stands at the Blue Jays' 2013 home opener. With a wild look in his eye, he cocked the bat threateningly, seemingly willing to take on the entire Cleveland Indians bench all by himself.
This is not a man you would want to rob, especially unarmed.
"People react in different ways," said Barberian. "I went berserk."
Barberian's altercation with the mugger was captured by his restaurant's two security cameras.
In the videos, a man jogs up behind Barberian and confronts him at the restaurant's door.
"He was kind of singing. He wasn't a menacing guy ... When he stopped me and grabbed the till, I looked down and he had money in his hands -- no weapon. If he had had a gun, I would have thrown my hands up," he said. "Instead, I went Tie Domi on him."
Barberian pulls the man's hoodie up over his head and drags him out onto the sidewalk. The two men grapple and swing around several times before it becomes clear that the tides have turned and the attacker is now trying to get away, while Barberian -- aided by an employee on his phone with the police -- tries to keep him from fleeing.
"I didn't want to punch him," he said. "I just wanted to make him sit down and wait for the cops to come."
Barberian plays cat and mouse with the attacker, who eventually flees into the nearby Ryerson parking garage before police can arrive.
The videos have now been posted to YouTube, titled "Smack Down" and "Smack Down 2." Barberians Steakhouse's Twitter account advertised the incident, writing "This is why you don't mess with the Boss!!! El Hefe Arron Barberian gave a wanna-be-robber the gears this morning."
As the action moves down the block, the till is on the street and money -- $150 in cash plus coins -- blows around in the wind. A woman wearing a fur hat appears and starts picking up bills and another woman, with red-soled shoes, grabs Barberian's cellphone.
"The woman in the fur hat is a real good Samaritan. She collected the money and gave it back to me. The other woman, she gets out of her SUV, sees the phone, steals the phone and runs away. She's the thief here," said Barberian. "The mugger probably has mental health and alcohol issues ... I hope he gets caught and charged -- you can't be mugging people -- but I hope he gets treatment."
While he admits to being a little shaken up, Barberian says the videos will add to his little bit of online celebrity.
"It's probably the stupidest thing I've done in a long time, fighting a guy for a couple hundred bucks. But it made for a funny video," he said. "It's a bit of a man bites dog story -- here's a grey haired 50 year old beating up a young thug."
Barberian, who says his friends call him "Killer B," jokes: "Don't mess with a little Armenian when there's money on the line."
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