Inside bollard men’s confrontation with Westfield stabbing spree killer Joel Cauchi

Construction workers Damien Guerot and Silas Despreaux were hailed as heroes after CCTV vision from the Saturday attack showed them halting Cauchi’s ascent of an escalator, threatening him with bollards they had seized.

The pair were also seen on later footage accompanying NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott as she sprinted through the shopping centre to confront Cauchi.

Damien Guérot and Silas Despreaux (L-R) Bondi Junction Westfield bollard man hero
Damien Guerot and Silas Despreaux on Today. (Today)

Cauchi killed six people and hospitalised about a dozen during the attack, before he was fatally shot by Scott.

Despreaux told Today that they had visited Westfield to go to the gym, when they noticed a group of people running down an escalator.

“Really, we didn’t understand what was going on. And, when we got up, one lady said someone is stabbing people,” he said.

Guerot said when the duo saw Cauchi had a knife, and they were themselves empty-handed, they initially ran for safety.

Bondi westfield man bollard video
Geurot is seen levelling a bollard at Westfield killer Joel Cauchi. (Nine)

“We go there and hide … and Silas was like, ‘We need to do something, we need to catch him’,” Guerot said.

They each picked up a bollard – which Guerot estimated weighed about 30kg to 40kg – and set off in pursuit of Cauchi.

“We saw him keep going, you know … stabbing people, then we saw him going the other way and we followed him,” Guerot said.

Video appeared to show a knife-wiedling man wearing a rugby league jersey.
Cauchi killed six people during his stabbing spree. (9News)

Despreaux, though he was out of frame, reached the top of the escalator first when they saw Cauchi climbing it.

Guerot said he initially wondered whether to go to the other end of the escalator and block Cauchi off, before he joined his friend and they got Cauchi’s attention.

“To be honest, at that moment, I couldn’t say anything,” Guerot said.

“I know the guy I have in front of me – I know he wasn’t here for a joke.

“I need to show him that I won’t let him pass. I won’t let him go. I need to stop him right now.”

Bondi Junction

Roosters among mourners as Westfield prepares to reopen

Guerot advanced to the very top of the escalator as seen on the video, levelling his bollard.

He grew emotional as he recounted the confrontation on Today, especially the moment when Cauchi, after appearing to retreat, turned as if to go back up the escalator.

This prompted Guerot to throw the bollard, missing the attacker.

“You always think, like, at night-time, you could have done maybe something better,” Guerot said.

“Maybe we could work together. We could talk to each other.”

“You could see in his eyes that he’s going to run after us now,” Despreaux said.

The duo retreated again, managing to reach the outdoors, where they found Scott.

Bondi Junction stabbing victims Yixuan Cheng, Pikria Darchia, Faraz Tahir, Ashlee Good, Dawn Singleton, Jade Young
Bondi Junction stabbing victims, clockwise from top left: Ashlee Good, Jade Young, Dawn Singleton, Yixuan Cheng, Pikria Darchia, Faraz Tahir. (Nine)

”We just, like, jump on her straight away, try to tell her everything, you know, you have to come, you know, we have to go right now,” Guerot said.

The pair accompanied Scott back inside the shopping centre and were present when she fatally shot Cauchi.

They praised her as an “amazing” officer.

Guerot and Cauchi have been hailed for their actions not just in Australia, but also in their native France, with President Emmanuel Macron dubbing them “heroes”.

Bondi Stabbing
NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott. (Supplied)

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also extended the offer of permanent residency to Guerot, who is in the middle of a visa application.

Guerot admitted to mixed emotions – both gratitude for the praise they had received and for Albanese’s offer, commingled with deep grief for the victims of the attack and their loved ones.

Ultimately, Guerot said, they were grateful to have been at each other’s side on that day.

“We work together so we can support each other,” he said.

FOLLOW US ON WHATSAPP HERE: Stay across all the latest in breaking news, celebrity and sport via our WhatsApp channel. No comments, no algorithm and nobody can see your private details.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button