Delivery driver who disrupted attack on child is ‘praying for her’

Caio Benicio said he acted on instinct when he hit the attacker with his motorbike helmet.

By Grinne N. Aodha
Friday 24 November 2023 14:38 GMT
Deliveroo driver Caio Benicio at the scene in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)
Deliveroo driver Caio Benicio at the scene in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA) (PA Wire)

A delivery driver who stopped a man attacking a girl in Parnell Square East said he is praying for her survival.

Brazilian national Caio Benicio was on his motorbike working in Dublin city centre on Thursday when he saw what he first thought was a fight.

“I slowed down my motorcycle to see what’s going on. I realised some man and woman and a little girl (were) involved,” he told the PA news agency from near the scene.

“Later on I found out (the woman) was the teacher. She was very, very brave.”

Mr Benicio told PA he saw the man grab a girl, take out a knife and attack her.

He said: “When I saw the knife, I stopped my bike and I just acted by instinct.”

He said he took his helmet off and hit the man in the head with it “with all of my power”.

“I didn’t even know there was more kids that were (hurt) at that time,” he said.

“I thought it was just one girl but afterwards I (found) out there are more people, more kids.”

Mr Benicio added: “I wish the family all the best. I pray for her to survive.

“I’m a parent myself, I have two kids and I know how hard it is.

“I saw (parents) come to the school, desperate to see how their kids are, something you can’t even imagine, the pain. I wish them all the strength possible to carry on.”

Irish premier Leo Varadkar said that anyone who risked their lives to save lives are “real Irish heroes, whatever their nationality”.

Irish deputy premier Micheal Martin said that Mr Benicio’s part “should not be forgotten” and he may have saved other children from attack.

“We had a horrific, violent attack on children and adults, we think of them and we think of the Deliveroo person who came along to save the situation, perhaps for other children,” he said.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise donations for Mr Benicio had raised more than 40,000 euro by Friday.

In response to the riotous scenes in Dublin on Thursday, Mr Benicio said: “I’m not the right person to talk about politics.”

He said there seemed to be a “small group of people” who “wanted an excuse to do what they did”.

“I’m here for about 20 years now, I don’t know politics here deeply to have an opinion about it,” he said.

“What I can say is I know the protest is against immigrants and for me it doesn’t make sense because I’m an immigrant myself and I was the one who helped out. For me it doesn’t make sense.”

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