A Brazilian Deliveroo rider who intervened in the knife attack outside a school on Parnell Square on Thursday said he “didn’t think twice” before acting.
Caio Benício (43) has two children, and when he realised it was an attack, he dismounted and hit the suspect on the head with his motorcycle helmet.
Mr Benício said he was still in shock on Friday to see the riots that took to Dublin streets last night and said: “It does not make sense at all. I know the protest involved anti-migrant groups. And I, as a migrant, was the one that helped to hold back the assailant.”
The delivery driver said that he was working yesterday and it was a “normal day” when he happened upon the scene.
“I was passing by Parnell Square when I saw a fight. At first, I thought it was a normal fight, and then I realised a little girl was involved.
“I saw a man trying to pull the girl and a woman trying to pull the girl as well. I found out she was a teacher,” he said.
“I slowed down my motorcycle to see what was going on. And then I saw the man pulling a knife. When I saw the knife, I stopped my motorcycle.
“I used my helmet as a weapon to stop him. He fell to the ground. People started crying.
“I saw him stabbing her in the chest. I don’t know how many times. Three, five times. I don’t know.
“I don’t know if he passed out after that. There was a lot of screaming. I didn’t hear a word from him, nothing. But he seemed to have mental health problems,” he said.
Mr Benício has said that it was the teacher who managed to take the child away from the attacker.
“She was getting into the fight to protect the children,” he said.
He says it was when he saw the five-year-old receiving care in the ambulance, he realised how severe the attack was.
“I went to see how the girl was. I could see some blood. She was very pale. And I pray for her, you know?
“At that time, I did not know that he had hit other children. I thought it was only one girl, and then I found out the same happened with other children,” he said.
Mr Benício says that “it was his father’s instinct” that led him to take action.
He has an 18-year-old daughter who is starting college soon and an 11-year-old son living in his hometown, Niterói, in Rio de Janeiro.
After his restaurant burned down a couple of years ago, he moved to Dublin to work in December 2022. The Brazilian Deliveroo rider said he has no plans to bring his children to Ireland.
“They have a life back there – a family, friends. I go there often. I’m planning to go to Brazil again in January,” he said.