PM: 'Bollard Man' Hero Can Stay in Australia Indefinitely

French construction worker confronted knifeman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2024 6:18 PM CDT

One of the heroes in Saturday's stabbing spree at a mall in Sydney, Australia has been told he is welcome to stay in the country for as long as he wants. French citizen Damien Guerot became known as "Bollard Man" after he was seen on video confronting attacker Joel Cauchi on an escalator, holding a plastic bollard. After Cauchi turned back, Guerot and his friend Silas Despreaux followed him to the next level of the shopping center, the BBC reports. Holding a chair as a possible weapon, Guerot chased Cauchi with Police Inspector Amy Scott, who shot the attacker dead after he lunged at her with a knife.

During an interview, Guerot, a construction worker, said his work visa was going to expire in a couple of months, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Tuesday said Guerot can stay in Australia for as long as he likes. "This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France," Albanese said. "We thank him for his extraordinary bravery." Guerot told his lawyer that the promise of permanent residency was "amazing news," the Guardian reports.

"It says a lot about the nature of humanity at a time when we are facing difficult issues that someone who's 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," Albanese said. Witnesses praised Guerot and Despreaux for running toward danger during the attack. Guerot told Seven News that Scott is the real hero. "She was the hero, she did the job," he said. "We just did what we did." Six people were killed in the rampage, including a mother who handed her injured baby to bystanders. (More Sydney stories.)

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