A Glenwood pastor conducting an online discourse on Monday evening, 14 June, outside his home was accosted by a thief.
Pastor Douglas Mellish, the head pastor at the City Hill Pinetown Church, was concluding a 15-minute virtual discourse via his smartphone when he was attacked. A video clip of the incident has been circulating on social media ever since.
He was standing on an island outside his home on Rick Turner Road at about 19:00 when he noticed a reflection of a man approaching, on his cellphone.
Mellish told The South African he conducts a virtual talk to congregants on Monday evenings, something he started during the lockdown last year. A prolonged power outage since 9:00 that day prompted him to conduct the broadcast close to a lamp post on the road.
Mellish couldn’t stand in his yard because he would have to contend with a noisy generator. Inside his house was not an option either as his 3-year-old son could have been a disturbance.
GLENWOOD PASTOR OPENS UP ABOUT THE ORDEAL
Mellish explained what unfolded: “I saw a car stop behind me as I was about to begin my talk. I thought it was a bit suspect because the driver drove and stopped the vehicle, and eventually drove off. The driver looked like a lady and I thought perhaps she was having trouble driving.”
“I was almost at the end of my broadcast when I saw the reflection of a man approach me. He was making a beeline for me and then he started sprinting. I turned around ready to fight if I had to. Then I stopped knowing he wanted my phone so detached it from the selfie stick [and] told him he could have the phone. While this was happening, I thought to myself should I wrestle him because I was bigger than him,” said Mellish.
“I was about to fight when he pulled out a knife ready to attack. I said you can have it and stepped back. I kept on saying you can have it [the cellphone]. I threw it to him and stepped back. I had a selfie stick and knew if he approached me, I was ready to fight,” said Mellish.
After his attacker took the cellphone he was contemplating his next move, said Mellish. Instead, the man ran to a waiting getaway Toyota which sped off. Mellish said he was happy he did not retaliate because his attacker had other people in the vehicle who could have caught him unawares and attacked too.
He was thankful to Blue Security who were on the scene a few minutes after he sounded the alarm. He is yet to register a case with police. Mellish said he learnt his lesson and would not make himself a soft target for criminals by holding a cellphone out in the open again.
He advised others to do everything possible to be vigilant, stay safe and protect themselves. “Criminals will take advantage of any opportunity to rob you. Many of the vehicles used for Uber taxi services are used by criminals” he added.