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Bondi stabbing: Heroic man wielding bollard to stop attack on children revealed as Silas Despreaux

Claire Sadler
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Silas Despreaux's brave act was captured on CCTV.
Silas Despreaux's brave act was captured on CCTV. Credit: The West Australian

A heroic man who held a bollard to stop knifeman Joel Cauchi from getting to a children’s play area has been named as French man Silas Despreaux.

Mr Despreaux has been dubbed “bollard man” after videos emerged of him grabbing a bollard inside the Bondi Junction shopping centre and confronting killer Joel Cauchi as he tried to come up an escalator.

Footage captured during the terrifying stabbing attack shows Mr Despreaux holding out the bollard in front of him and stopping the knifeman from getting up the escalator where children were playing.

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Silas Despreaux heroically stopped knifeman Joel Cauchi from getting to a children's play area during the attack.
Silas Despreaux heroically stopped knifeman Joel Cauchi from getting to a children's play area during the attack. Credit: Instagram

Mr Despreaux had just arrived to the shopping centre with his friend Damien Guerot to go to the gym when they witnessed people running.

The pair then saw Cauchi stabbing random shoppers. They each grabbed a bollard and held him off.

“I’m not gonna lie, I was scared but you cannot just like stay away and not do anything,” Mr Despreaux told 7NEWS.

“He looked like, just — just determined to kill people.”

Mr Guerot added: “We didn’t think, its like you couldn’t think at that moment, just like adrenaline.”

“The eyes was like empty eyes. (Cauchi) was like, uh, it wasn’t there.”

Mr Despreaux has been hailed a hero by thousands on social media since the video was posted.

“What a hero. You deserve a medal for your courage and bravery,” Donna Hooper posted.

“Mate, you are a legend,” Macro Onofri said.

Supplied Editorial A bystander armed with a bollard tries to stop the armed man on an escalator at Westfield Bondi. Picture : 9 News
Footage of the man confronting Joel Cauchi with a bollard is spread far and wide online. 9 News Credit: Supplied

When asked about the actions of Mr Despreaux, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke said bystanders had shown extreme bravery.

“People do things in times of stress, people do some very very brave things in these circumstances,” he said.

NSW Premier Chris Minns also spoke of Mr Despreaux’s brave actions.

“It has been incredible to see complete strangers jump in, run towards the danger, put their own lives in harm’s way to save someone that they’ve never met before,” he said.

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