The 78-Year-Old Legend From Siġġiewi Who Beat His Attackers With A Mug Of Tea
Malta's latest superhero is the definition of badass
Three petty criminals found themselves in a spot of hot water last week, when their plans to break into a Siġġiewi home came to a crashing halt thanks to the home owner's vintage brand of unmitigated badassery.
Meet John Ranson: Your new hero
When 78-year-old former England rugby player John Ranson woke up to his customary mug of tea and trip to the garage, he caught something strange at the periphery of his vision.
"I saw a foot behind the [garage] door," Ranson told the BBC, and before long one intruder morphed into three, and one of them even had a gun.
"This was for real," the man thought. And on any normal day and in any normal household, this could easily have ended up as yet another sad story of an elderly man being overpowered by petty thugs.
But instead of things going depressingly to formula, Ranson's quick thinking put a stop to that plan good and proper. In a series of rapid-fire self-defense moves that we can't help but picture like the slow-motion fight scene in Guy Ritchie's first Sherlock Holmes movie, Ranson used the modest means at his disposal to, well, dispose of the intruders.
First, the tea
Does it get any more British than this? Reasoning that there would be no way for him to take the three men as-is, Ranson instead got the upper hand in the melee by first lobbing the contents of his morning tea at one of them.
Then, the mug
Putting his resourcefulness to full use, Ranson then used the mug to dispatch of the second assailant, and used the small time window allowed by this distraction to slam the garage door shut.
He then proceeded to "shout many names" to give the impression that there were reinforcements lying in wait around the house when in fact, the only other occupant was Ranson's wife.
The criminals failed to call his bluff, however, and ran off with their tails between their legs, jumping over the same wall Ranson assumed they had used to enter his property.
Going by a photograph accompanying a Times of Malta article about the incident, in deed and demeanor John Ranson brings to mind the elderly Bruce Wayne in the Batman Beyond animated series.
Yes, we're calling it: John Ranson is our own Batman (skip to 2:45)
Ranson suspects that the three foiled burglars were the same three men who made a suspicious trip to his property some days before the incident, asking Ranson whether he "had anything to sell" before skittishly driving away.
Ranson took note of the number plate of their car, but the police have since informed him that it was a fake, though investigations are underway to find the three criminals, whom Ranson identified as Italian-language speakers.
The sad upshot of the story is that Ranson and his wife, who spent 10 of their 26 Malta-based years in Siggiewi, now no longer feel all that safe in what they formerly saw as an idyllic rural town. But the incident certainly hasn't dented their community spirit, as neighbours were quick to rally around the couple, offering moral support (and plates of food) at regular intervals.
Mr John Ranson, take a bow.