MUSWELLBROOK newsagent Daniel Smith felt the anger rising as the masked gunman continued to yell at him to hand over cash.
With a sawn-off shotgun in his face during the third hold-up at his Muswellbrook shop in a few years, Mr Smith says he looked into the opened till and decided it was time to act.
‘‘I picked the 50 cent pieces because they were the biggest and sharpest buggers I could find and gave him what he wanted - the money straight into his face,’’ Mr Smith said.
With the tide turned, Mr Smith was able to wrestle with the startled bandit before the gunman escaped empty handed.
The 33-year-old had just opened the Southside Newsagency on Thursday when he heard yelling from the front of his shop about 5.10am.
Before he had time to comprehend what was happening, the gunman had the shotgun pointed at him and directly him to give him cash.
Mr Smith put his hands in the air as he walked to the counter before deciding he wasn’t going to take the abuse.
‘‘We have been held up three times and I just thought bugger this, someone has to send a message to this person and the rest of them that you can’t just walk into a place like this,’’ Mr Smith said.
‘‘It was in the back of my mind that the chances the gun was real was slim and the chances it was real and loaded were even slimmer.
‘‘I am not a betting man but I took a punt.’’
Hunter Valley detectives are hunting the suspect.