HIGH NOON IN LONDON
Hero PC tells of battling terrorists with baton
A HERO policeman says he was temporarily blinded in one eye after taking on all three crazed London Bridge terrorists with just his baton.
Transport police officer Wayne Marques, 38, compared facing off against the trio as like something out of a western film, and said he thought he would die after being stabbed multiple times.
He said the trio had stood facing him, as one chanted “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar”, his “eyes bulging”.
“The three of them were standing together almost shoulder to shoulder, like a little wolf pack, and they’re staring at me,” he said. “And that’s when I get to size them up.
“And I’m basically just like a cowboy western movie, waiting for the draw, waiting for them to make their move.”
He and a colleague had been patrolling near London Bridge soon after starting their June 3 night shift when they heard screams.
The officer of two years, speaking for the first time about what had happened, said he knew something was wrong when he saw bouncers and customers queuing to get into a nearby bar standing “like deer in the headlights”.
The three terrorists, wearing stab-proof vests, had driven a van into pedestrians on London Bridge at 80kmh, and had then run to attack people with hunting knives.
Birmingham-born PC Marques had initially thought the disturbance was a Saturday night pub fight that had spilled out on to the street, or a gang fight “at the most”.
But shortly afterwards he saw people being attacked in Borough High Street, near the London Bridge St junction.
PC Marques believes the battle in which he fought off terrorists Rachid Redouane, 30, Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, lasted just 90 seconds.
“I remember grabbing my baton with my right hand and I racked (extended) it. I took a deep breath and I just charged the first one,” he said.
“As I got near him I swung at him with everything I had, as hard as I could, straight through his head, trying to go for, like, a knockout blow.”
He said he heard the attacker “yelp in pain”.
He said he was stabbed in the leg by the first attacker.
“I’m thinking ‘shit, there’s a knife in my leg’, while I’m fighting the second one and the third one.”
PC Marques said that after being stabbed in the hand he could remember little except for “swinging (my baton) all over the place”.
He described “instant darkness” when he was stabbed in the head: “He’d hit me so hard that my right eye went lights out, straight away. I just went blind,” he said.
“I didn’t realise how badly I was hurt. The adrenaline, the fighting, all of that … I could feel what they were doing to me, but I couldn’t feel it at the same time. I could just feel that I’d been cut and hurt.”
Eight people, including Australians Kirsty Boden, 28, and Sara Zelenak, 21, were killed, and 48 more were injured in the attack.
The three terrorists were shot dead by police.
An inquest on the trio was opened and then adjourned yesterday at Southwark Coroner’s Court, just a few hundred metres from the scene of the attack.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said that all three of the attackers had been shot and killed within eight minutes of the first call to emergency services.