José Ortiz García. | Alejandro Sepúlveda

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A 47-year-old martial arts expert yesterday brushed aside claims that he is a hero after carrying out a citizen's arrest on Wednesday.

The incident occurred at 11.30am. An 84-year-old man was withdrawing some money from an ATM in Palma. Inside a shoulder bag, he was carrying just over 900 euros in change for his daughter who runs a nearby lottery kiosk.

Just as the victim turned to leave, he was violently assaulted from behind and the attacker managed to free the bag from his grasp and make a run for it. The victim suffered multiple injuries, especially to his shoulders.

Meanwhile Jose Ortiz Garcia, accompanied by his wife and daughter, was parking his car. He witnessed the attack and set off in pursuit of the thief. After about a block, Ortiz managed to catch up with the thief and using a police self-defence technique managed to apprehend the thief and hold him down until the National Police reached the scene and arrested the suspect, named later as Sergio L.S., originally from Cordoba and with previous convictions.

Ortiz said: "I’m no hero, I did what anyone else would have done in those circumstances. I heard the old man shouting, saw what was happening and reacted."