‘Bollard man’ offered Australian citizenship for confronting Sydney shopping centre attacker

Damien Guerot used a bollard and later a mental chair in attempts to thwart Joel Cauchi
Damien Guerot used a bollard and later a metal chair in attempts to thwart Joel Cauchi - TWITTER
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The man who helped stop the Sydney shopping centre knifeman with a bollard has been offered Australian citizenship.

Damien Guerot was nicknamed “bollard man” after security footage showed him using the item to confront Joel Cauchi at the top of an escalator, near a children’s play area.

On Tuesday, Anthony Albanese, the Australian prime minister, lauded the Frenchman’s “extraordinary efforts” during the attack at Bondi Junction Westfield, telling him to “stay as long as you like”.

“If Bollard Man wants to become an Australian, we’d welcome him with open arms,” he said.

Cauchi, 40, fatally stabbed six people before he was shot dead by Insp Amy Scott.

The diagnosed schizophrenic may have inflicted further “carnage” were it not for the bravery of Mr Guerot, who helped Insp Scott locate Cauchi, Mr Albanese said.

“I think that on Saturday, we saw some of the best of human character at the same time as we saw such devastating tragedy,” he said.

In a statement to The Telegraph, Andrew Giles, the immigration minister, said: “I am aware of Mr Guerot’s case and have asked my department to look into visa options for him.”

“Mr Guerot’s extraordinary bravery is an example of the character we all want to see in our society,” Mr Giles said.

Damien Guerot was with a friend headed to the gym when he confronted Joel Cauchi
Damien Guerot was with a friend headed to the gym when he confronted Joel Cauchi - FRAT

Mr Guerot and Silas Despreaux, his friend, were walking to the gym on Saturday when they saw Cauchi – who had already stabbed 17 people including a baby – nearing a group of children.

“We just saw him coming ... we were thinking, ‘We need to try to stop him’,” Mr Guerot told Seven News. “I saw a guy on the floor with a lot of blood, I saw one girl from the balcony get stabbed.”

He said that when he confronted Cauchi on the escalator, the killer had “empty eyes”.

“He wasn’t there,” Mr Guerot said. “We tried to throw the bollard. We really wanted to stop him.”

The friends also used a metal chair to block Cauchi.

Referring to Insp Scott, who shot Cauchi dead when he lunged towards her with the knife, Mr Guerot said: “She was the hero, she did the job. We just did what we did.”

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