A civil servant has described for the first time how he confronted the London Bridge terrorist with a narwhal tusk as the attacker threatened him with two knives.
Darryn Frost, a 38-year-old South African man who has lived in the UK for 14 years and works for the Ministry of Justice, said he took the tusk from a wall to intervene after Usman Khan killed Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt.
Khan, who was wearing a fake suicide vest, went on a violent rampage at a prisoner rehabilitation event at Fishmongers’ Hall on 29 November.
“He had knives in both hands and, upon seeing me with the narwhal tusk, pointed at his midriff,” Mr Frost told the Press Association.
“He turned and spoke to me, then indicated he had an explosive device around his waist.”
He added: “At this point, the man next to me threw his chair at the attacker, who then started running towards him with knives raised above his head.”
Mr Frost said he has come forward to give his account of the “terrible day” in a bid to urge people to unite against terrorism and raise money for the victims’ families.
In video footage from the attack, Mr Frost can be seen with other members of the public heroically fending off the attacker after they pursued him on to London Bridge.
He was filmed pinning Khan to the ground and later being pulled away by a police officer before the terrorist was shot dead.
“We called out to warn the public of the danger and, after a struggle, managed to restrain him to the ground,” the civil servant said of the incident.
“At that point I was trying to isolate the blades by holding his wrists so that he could not hurt anyone or set off the device.”
Mr Frost offered his “sincere condolences” to the victims’ families and friends, adding: “In reading about their lives and work I am convinced they represent all that is good in the world, and I will always feel the deep hurt of not being able to save them.”
He also thanked members of the public who helped confront the terrorist and those who helped tend to the injured after the attack.
The civil servant said he had omitted “many details” from his account “out of respect for the victims and their families” and in consideration of the ongoing investigation and inquests into the attack.
He urged people to get behind a project he has launched, called Extinguish Hate, to “challenge hate and spread kindness” and asked people to donate to fundraisers for Jones and Merritt.
“I feel we all have a duty to challenge the spread of fear, hatred or intolerance within our communities,” Mr Frost added.
Both victims were graduates from Cambridge University and had been involved in campaigning for penal reform.
Jones had applied to become a police officer, while Merritt worked for a criminal rehabilitation programme called Learning Together.
Friends and family of the victims described them as having “dedicated themselves to helping others”.
Additional reporting by PA
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