A man has described through tears how his brother and a stranger “bravely” held down a knife-wielding man using a milk crate and chairs in Sydney’s CBD after a woman was stabbed in a hotel.
Paul O’Shaughnessy said his brother Luke, 30, first saw the knife-wielding man—who was covered in blood—jump on a car and start yelling after 2 p.m. on Aug. 13.
“We were like ‘Wow, what’s going on here’,” the clearly-shaken 37-year-old told reporters.
The pair, along with several colleagues, raced outside and chased the man down.
“For us, it was just about restraining him,” Paul O’Shaughnessy said.
“My brother, he was the hero. He got a grip of him, along with another guy we don’t know, and put a crate on his head. He was just mumbling religious things.”
Video footage shows a bystander holding a chair confronting the man who was yelling: “Shoot me, [expletive] shoot me in the [expletive] head.”
The man was later tackled and restrained with a plastic milk crate used to pin his head and two chairs over his body.
One man was heard screaming at the alleged attacker: “You [expletive] piece of shit, do you know how many people you just stabbed? You stabbed a chick.”
Seven Network cameraman Paul Walker—who filmed the attacker being detained—said the man was “full of blood.”
“The guy with the knife just kept running and stopping and running and stopping,” he told reporters.
“Someone grabbed a milk crate and smacked it over his head.”
Paul O’Shaughnessy said he was “very rattled” but proud of his brother and the other man who helped.
“There was a very big crowd but they were the ones who restrained the guy and just got a grip so he didn’t do any more damage,” he said.
“We managed to wait until the police came and they did a fantastic job. My brother continued to keep him down just in case, which is very brave.”
Witness David Vaux said it all happened very quickly.
“He was held very securely and I don’t think he was in a state to basically breathe,” he told reporters.
“It’s an extraordinary response by the public and just demonstrates that people are prepared to do the right thing if called upon.”
The man is in police custody. The woman has been taken to hospital in a stable condition with a stab wound to her back.
Police heaped praised on the members of the public who helped restrain the man who’d previously attempted to stab multiple people.
Superintendent Gavin Wood described them as “significantly brave.”
“To approach a person with a mindset of obviously what this person did with clear evidence of a stabbing previously, these people are heroes,” he told reporters.
“These members of the public have jumped into a situation which was extremely dangerous, extremely hostile and they brought a person who we will be alleging stabbed an innocent person for no specific reason into custody and allowed us to do our job.”