HIGH NOON IN LON­DON

Hero PC tells of bat­tling ter­ror­ists with ba­ton

Herald Sun - - WORLD - THE SUN

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.

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