Hero Car Washer Colby Gapps rescued a mother and her two children from an attacker in Coomera. Photograph: Jason O'Brien
Hero Car Washer Colby Gapps rescued a mother and her two children from an attacker in Coomera. Photograph: Jason O'Brien

Car washer a ‘hero’ after rescuing family from attacker

HE has been called a hero, but for this mild mannered car washer, he was only doing what anyone else would have done if they were thrust into the same situation.

What had started as just another day at the Coomera Grand Car Wash for Colby Gapps, turned into a heroic effort saving a young family and countless others from sure injury.

On Wednesday afternoon Mr Gapps put down the bucket and chamois and took on a man who allegedly had lost control and was throwing heavy objects at cars at a busy Upper Coomera intersection, trying to fight people going about their day.

Mr Gapps said he was just doing it anyone else would have done if they were in the same situation. Photograph: Jason O'Brien
Mr Gapps said he was just doing it anyone else would have done if they were in the same situation. Photograph: Jason O'Brien

"On Tuesday he came up here and had a bit of a confrontation with another worker and then he turned up again on Wednesday and I told him he can't be here from his behaviour previously," Mr Gapps said.

"He didn't like that and he came at me, we ended up going onto the footpath and I dealt with him and he walked away, I thought it was all over.

"I turned around and he has picked up a metal electrical box cover, walked into the centre of the intersection and threw it at this lady's car, who had two young children in the back.

"After I saw that and he'd bent down to pick it up again, I ran down the hill and pushed him and told him to leave. I turned around to make sure the family was OK, but you can understand she was quite distraught.

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Colby Gapps was working at Coomera Grand Car Wash when the attack happened. Photograph: Jason O'Brien
Colby Gapps was working at Coomera Grand Car Wash when the attack happened. Photograph: Jason O'Brien

"I turned back around and he was picking up little rectangle covers that you see on the side of the road, hard metal things and started throwing them into the intersection, then he picked one up and threw it at a car and it bounced off the window."

Bounding into action again, Mr Gapps tackled the offender and held him down, despite being bitten by the man.

"He bent down to pick up another one, so I quickly ran over and tackled him and tried to hold him down as best I could, he was kicking about.

"I had my arm around his chest and he bit me on the arm and a customer came down, so I put him back on the ground and the customer put him in a chicken wing.

"We held on until the police turned up."

 

The attacker was throwing items at cars, including one with a mother and her two young children inside, when Mr Gapps tackled him and restrained him until police arrived. Photograph: Jason O'Brien
The attacker was throwing items at cars, including one with a mother and her two young children inside, when Mr Gapps tackled him and restrained him until police arrived. Photograph: Jason O'Brien

Mr Gapps said he was only doing what anyone else would have done.

"I've never done anything like it before, I wasn't expecting it.

"You see something like this happen and a lot of people don't want to get involved, because they don't want to get hurt themselves.

"You can't just standby and watch it unfold, people could be hurt … parents were around with little kids, it was lucky that I could handle myself and stop him before he hurt someone."

He said the response from the community had been brilliant.

"I had a few people rock up to the car wash and I ask if I was Colby, said they saw me on Facebook and thought it was great, so they'd come down to support the business."

 

A post to the Coomera Community Page Facebook group praising Mr Gapps'’s heroic efforts. Picture: Facebook
A post to the Coomera Community Page Facebook group praising Mr Gapps'’s heroic efforts. Picture: Facebook

Police confirmed there was an incident and investigations are ongoing.

After it was all said and done, he went back and continued on the cars, before spending most of Wednesday night in hospital getting tests done from the bite.