close
Saturday May 18, 2024

Australia offers French mall stabbing hero citizenship

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese singled Guerot out for praise on Tuesday

By Agencies
April 17, 2024
A police officer reacts outside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on April 13, 2024. — AFP
A police officer reacts outside the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney on April 13, 2024. — AFP

SYDNEY: Australia’s prime minister on Tuesday suggested a visiting Frenchman who heroically fended off a knife-wielding Sydney mall attacker using only a bollard could be offered citizenship.

Damien Guerot has been dubbed “bollard man” and a “hero” of Saturday’s attack that killed six people, including a Pakistani, and wounded a dozen more.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese singled Guerot out for praise on Tuesday, thanking him for his “extraordinary bravery” in confronting Joel Cauchi on an escalator and preventing the 40-year-old attacker from reaching more victims.

“I say this to Damien Guerot who is dealing with his visa applications, that you are welcome here, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like,” Albanese said.

“This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France. We thank him for his extraordinary bravery.”

“It says a lot about the nature of humanity at a time when we are facing difficult issues, that someone who is not a citizen of this country stood bravely at the top of those escalators and stopped this perpetrator from getting onto another floor and potentially inflicting further carnage on citizens,” Albanese said.