A WOULD-BE robber who was chased after holding-up a post
office and pinned down by a firefighter until police arrived has
The actions of brave firefighter Dan Winters were commended by
the judge as he jailed the man for five years and he and a van
driver, who also intervened, have been invited to court to receive
a personal commendation from the judge.
Kris Whittaker (born 02/02/1981) of Bradshaw Mews, Bradshaw,
Bolton, was jailed for five years at Bolton Crown Court on
Friday, October 12.
Whittaker pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of
an imitation firearm with intent to commit a crime at an earlier
Around 4.30pm on Friday, August 3, Green Watch firefighters from
Bolton North Fire Station were refuelling their fire engine when
they noticed a man acting suspiciously as he ran out of the post
office on Lea Gate in Harwood.
Firefighter Dan Winters said: "A woman with a baby in a pram and
another woman came running out, all the alarms went off and then a
man came out wearing a gorilla mask.
Picture of Dan Winters courtesy of The Bolton News.
"He looked around, I think looking for his getaway car but I
assume we'd scared them off with the fire engine.
"Our driver put the blue lights and sirens on and I jumped off
the engine and chased him.
"I caught up with him at the same time as a van driver who'd got
involved - we pinned him down and took his mask and what we thought
was a gun off him."
Dan, who is also a boxer for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue
Service (GMFRS), was aware of the risk of chasing someone who was
armed but felt he had to do something for the community.
"I couldn't stand there and do nothing so I just ran and chased
him," said Dan. "I got a telling off when I got home."
Whittaker's gun turned out to be two pieces of pipe taped
been with GMFRS for eight years and been at Bolton North since
January this year.
GMFRS Bolton Borough Manager Ian Bailey said: "It is another
indication of the public-spirited nature of our firefighters - when
they see something that needs doing, they act and they act
"I would not expect anything less as that is the type of people
they are and will do anything they can to help the communities they
"However, that does not take away from the fact Dan acted in an
outstanding way and helped take a dangerous offender off the
streets because of that bravery."
LEFT: would-be robber Kris Whittaker - jailed for five
years after being tackled by Firefighter Dan Winters. BELOW: the
imitation firearm that Whittaker was carrying.