ERNIE Whitfield and the police agree on one thing: don’t emulate Ernie.
News of the 84-year-old’s exploits in turning the weapons two uninvited armed men bought into his house on them and sending them packing have echoed around the world.
Mr Whitfield confronted and saw off two men who appeared in his bedroom on Saturday morning. While police are still looking for offenders they have encouraged people to opt for a less confrontational approach should they find themselves in a similar situation.
And the man himself is with them.
"The main thing I want to get across is that people should not ever do what I did if they are in the same situation," he said. "The last thing I want to do is encourage someone to react like I did, I was extremely lucky."
Of course it was no surprise national media outlets leapt on tale, but so too have global giants.
The Huffington Post, one of the world’s most read weblogs, wrote that “age is just a number and no one knows this better than Ernie Whitfield”.
One commenter posted a simple sentiment: "YOU GO, GRANDPA!!!!!"
The International Business Times headlined its article “84-Year-Old NSW Man Beats Large Armed Intruders”.
It suggested that “Similar men in the same age bracket would probably be confined in a convalescent home, wheelchair-bound or walking with the aid of a cane.”
More on Ernie and tips on how to avoid a similar situation in Wednesday's Port News