In the heart of Dublin’s Parnell Square, a dramatic encounter unfolded as a Deliveroo rider and father of two, Caio Benicio, thwarted a knife-wielding assailant. The target of this violent act was a group of schoolchildren under the guardianship of a creche worker, making their way to an after-school care facility.
Hailing from the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Caio, who has been a resident of Ireland for a year, recounted the harrowing incident. Armed only with his motorcycle helmet, he courageously intervened, using the protective gear as an improvised weapon against the assailant who had already injured three young children and the female creche worker.
Tragically, a 5-year-old girl now grapples with critical injuries, while the creche worker remains hospitalized with severe wounds. Caio’s narrative sheds light on the gravity of the situation, as he reflects, “I was working through a routine day, passing by Parnell Square when I witnessed what initially seemed like a scuffle between a man and a woman—a typical altercation, or so I thought. Intrigued, I decelerated my motorcycle to discern the unfolding events.”
In his account to RTÉ News, Caio vividly described the bravery exhibited by the creche worker in attempting to shield the children from harm. He narrates, “A woman was pulling the girl, displaying immense courage. She was trying to rescue the child from the assailant’s grip. The little girl managed to escape, only for the man to seize another victim.”
It was at this juncture that Caio noticed the weapon—a knife in the assailant’s hand. Reacting instinctively, he swiftly dismounted his motorcycle, repurposing his helmet as a defensive tool. “I remember removing my helmet, both to shield myself and to wield it as a weapon. I struck him forcefully on the head, causing him to collapse. Others joined in, delivering kicks to subdue the threat,” he recounted.
Post-incident, Caio provided a statement to the Gardaí, expressing the shock he experienced. “I didn’t even have the luxury of fear. When you witness a man wielding a knife near a five-year-old, you don’t contemplate; you act. I believe anyone would have done the same,” he reflected.
Overwhelmed by the intensity of the situation, Caio sought solace at home, resorting to medication to quell the shock-induced tremors. Though he didn’t personally witness subsequent unrest, footage on his phone revealed the upheaval that transpired.
In emphasizing his status as an immigrant, Caio aimed to counter anti-immigrant sentiments, stating, “There are protests against immigrants, and I, an immigrant, was there, right there, defending Irish people. The public may not fully comprehend the circumstances. The people protesting and setting fires to police cars should be informed about what transpired beforehand.”
In a poignant plea, he reminded the public of the immigrant community’s contribution to the nation’s prosperity. “We are here to contribute through hard work, bolstering the country’s economy. The efforts we invest here are not only beneficial for the nation but also for our own well-being. Instead of harboring animosity, there should be understanding,” he asserted.
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