The Brazilian deliveryman, described as a “hero” for helping to subdue a knife-wielding assailant in Dublin on Thursday, suspected of attacking children in front of an Irish school, told AFP on Saturday that he had acted “like the any parent would have done.” A five-year-old girl was seriously injured and remains hospitalized after the stabbing attack. She was behind the worst night of riots in the Irish capital in almost 20 years, which authorities blamed on far-right agitators.
They claimed that rumors circulating on social networks, according to which the stabbings were carried out by an “illegal immigrant”, were at the origin of this violence, during which vehicles were burned, stores looted and police officers attacked. Caio Benicio, who works for the takeaway food delivery app Deliveroo, used his motorcycle helmet to hit the suspect “with all his might”, who was attacking a little girl. The attacker was arrested on the spot.
“I think every parent would have done the same”
The intervention of Caio Benicio and other passers-by was warmly welcomed by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who called them “true Irish heroes”. The 43-year-old Brazilian, father of a 12-year-old boy and a 19-year-old girl, told AFP that he did not really consider himself a “hero”. “I have two children, and I think every parent would have done the same,” he said.
Caio Benicio, however, was moved to have been congratulated for his courage by many Irish people, as well as by his children: “It’s nice to make them proud.” A young 17-year-old Frenchman, an apprentice chef on training in Dublin, also helped to disarm the attacker. Slightly injured in the hand and face, he received a call from French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday to congratulate him for his bravery. According to Caio Benicio, the riots that occurred after the stabbing attack, which brought together nearly 500 people and demonstrate the rise of anti-immigration sentiment in Ireland, make “no sense”.
“They were targeting immigrants, I am an immigrant myself and I am the one who helped,” he commented. “I think it’s a small group of people who don’t even know what they’re doing, who they’re fighting for,” added the Brazilian.