Over €350k raised for Dublin knife attack hero
Over €350,000 has so far been crowd-funded for a Brazilian food delivery driver who helped stop a knife rampage in which three children were stabbed in Dublin, an incident that sparked riots in the Irish capital.
Caio Benicio, 43, who emigrated to Dublin last year, used his motorbike helmet to strike the attacker when he witnessed the violent assault outside a primary school on the outskirts of Dublin’s north-inner city on Thursday afternoon. Three children and an adult – Leanne Flynn, a creche worker in her thirties – were injured. A five-year-old girl remains in hospital with serious injuries. Flynn is in a “serious but stable” condition in hospital, police said on Saturday, having spent two days in intensive care.
A crowdfunding page on the GoFundMe platform called ‘Buy Caio Benicio a Pint’ had raised more than €350,000 ($383,000) as of Sunday afternoon, after Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar praised Benicio and others who intervened as “the real Irish heroes.”
“I didn’t even make a decision, it was pure instinct,” Benicio told the Irish publication The Journal on Thursday. “It was all over in seconds. He fell to the ground, I didn’t see where the knife went, and other people stepped in.”
He added: “I did what anyone would do. I knew I could use my helmet as a weapon.”
The assailant, who has yet to be formally identified by Irish authorities, also sustained serious injuries in the incident. Local media outlet Gript reported, citing police sources on Thursday, that the suspect is of Algerian origin. Subsequent reports indicated that the man, thought to be in his late forties, is a naturalized Irish citizen who has lived in the country for two decades.
The incident sparked Dublin’s worst rioting in two decades, as hundreds congregated in the city center, with many expressing anti-immigration sentiments. Numerous businesses were ransacked, while various public transport and police vehicles were set alight. 34 people have so far been arrested, with authorities pledging to use CCTV footage to identify further culprits.
“It looks like they hate immigrants,” Benicio added to The Journal, commenting on the disorder. “Well I am an immigrant, and I did what I could to try and save that little girl.”
Benicio was aided in his efforts by a 17-year-old trainee chef from France who has been working at a Dublin restaurant. He suffered injuries to his hands and face during the struggle, and received a phone call on Friday from French President Emmanuel Macron praising him for his efforts.