A MAN "going off like a cut cat" was hit over the head with a bin and subdued by punters after trying to rob a Ballarat TAB this morning.
The man entered the TAB on Victoria Street at about 11.20am today with a 30-centimetre kitchen knife and demanded money.
Police say a "violent fight" broke out between the 42-year-old Newlyn man and the owners of the betting agency, who were unwilling to relinquish the cash.
Up to four punters who were in the TAB at the time then assisted in the struggle, hitting the man over the head with a bin.
As a group they were able to pin the man down until police arrived a short time later.
It is believed the man received minor head injuries from the struggle, and those who stopped him received minor cuts from the knife.
Ballarat Police Acting Sergeant Brett Robinson said the man was not known to police and was not believed to have been a regular in the betting outlet.
He praised the brave actions of those who put their bodies on the line to stop the man.
"During the struggle the offender was quite violent, described as going off like a cut cat. (He) was hit over the hit over the head by one of the patrons with a bin to subdue him," he said.
"A number of people obtained some minor injuries including the offender.
"They (the owners and patrons) are quite shaken up, it was pretty brave of them. They've done a really good job actually to subdue him because it does appear from the scene that it was quite a violent fight."
Acting Sergeant Robinson said it was a shock for such a violent incident to occur in Ballarat on a Tuesday morning.
"Tuesday morning's are usually fairly quiet, the only difference was it was the first day back after a long weekend," he said.
The man was taken to an ambulance waiting outside the TAB, concealing his identity with a jacket over his head. He was treated at the scene with facial injuries before being taken to hospital.
He is expected to be charge with armed robbery and a string of assault offences.