CCTV footage has revealed how Arsenal star Gabriel Magalhaes fought off masked thugs in a horrific baseball bat attack.
Gatekeepers News reports that CCTV footage played in court has shown how the 23-year-old footballer defended himself against the muggers after parking his £45,000 Mercedes at his home in Barnet, north London.
The incident, which took place in August, has led to the five years imprisonment of one of the robbers, Abderaham Muse.
Police linked Muse, 26, to the robbery through DNA from his hat, which fell off during a scuffle after he lunged at Gabriel.
The Arsenal ace and his friend, Rodrigo Tavares, were followed to his home in London by the robbers, who then demanded his car, keys, watch, and mobile phone.
In the footage, a man approached Gabriel with a bat. The Brazilian puts his hands in the air and hands over a watch from his pocket. The attacker then lunges at the defender, who strikes him back in the face and wrestles with him.
Muse was, however, able to wriggle free and run off without the car but has been convicted of one count of robbery and one count of possession of an offensive weapon.
He was also out on licence when the incident happened after a string of previous convictions, including possession of heroin with intent to supply.
Meanwhile, the other attacker and a third member of the gang, who was holding the victim’s electronic gates open are still on the run.
Prosecutor Martin Lewis told Harrow Crown Court that “No injuries were suffered but a great deal of shock was caused. They happened to pick on two victims who were very fit and able to look after themselves.”
Judge Anupama Thompson said the attackers were after the vehicle because they believed the driver would be wealthy, unaware of his identity.
The judge told Muse, “While you didn’t specifically target the victim on account of him being a well-known footballer, there was a realisation this person was wealthy and worthy of robbing.
“You saw a nice car and a nice house and thought it was rich pickings. Fortunately, thanks to the brave actions of the people you targeted, no further damage was done.
“You have an appalling record for a man of 26. This was a horrific and frightening attack on a group of people who were simply coming home from a night out.”
Arteta, while commenting on the incident ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Manchester United said: “It’s not a nice thing to go through when you have family involved. Gabi showed a lot of character. Credit to the boy. After that he was fine, obviously, he was shocked.
“The club have given him the support to try and move on from the situation.”
A similar incident was recorded in 2019 when two armed men tried to rob Sead Kolasinac and then team-mate Mesut Ozil.
Kolasinac, while recalling the attack in November 2019 said “Mesut had visited me. I came out and stood next to his car. Suddenly a scooter driver stops next to us.
“You do not think about it, although I’ve heard many stories about it. Why should it happen to you?
“Suddenly the robber stands beside you and pulls an object out of his pocket. ‘Okay’, I thought, ‘now it’s my turn’. But I stayed calm and tried to fight back.
“It was definitely a dangerous situation. We are glad that nothing happened to us. That’s the most important thing. And that’s why it should be forgotten and it’s over.”