Westfield Bondi Junction ‘bollard man’ hero offered Australian citizenship

A Frenchman who confronted the Bondi Junction attacker will be allowed to stay in Australia, with Anthony Albanese promising to grant him citizenship after his heroic act.

Damien Guerot earned the nickname ‘Bollard Man’ after a viral video showed him bravely confronting stabber Joel Cauchi on an escalator, one of many instances where he rushed to help others in need. 

It’s understood he intervened to stop the attacker from reaching an area where many children had been playing at Westfield Bondi Junction.

His visa expires in a month, and a petition was launched to grant him Australian citizenship after his heroic acts amid the Bondi Junction stabbing.

Mr Albanese was asked about Mr Guerot’s visa on Tuesday morning.

‘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. 

‘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.

Damien Guerot (pictured) earned the nickname ‘Bollard Man’ after a viral video showed him bravely confronting stabber Joel Cauchi on an escalator

‘I think that on Saturday we saw some of the best of human character at the same time as we saw such devastating tragedy and I thank Damien for his extraordinary efforts. 

He was going to the gym with his fellow Frenchman Silas Despreaux on Saturday afternoon when they stumbled across the scene of carnage. 

‘We tried to catch him but he was going down the stairs,’ Mr Guerot told 7News. 

‘Then we saw him going down so we followed him from the top. We tried to maybe throw the bollard to him but we couldn’t.’ 

Mr Guerot said he was running off pure ‘adrenaline’.

‘We didn’t think. You cannot think in that moment,’ he said.

Mr Guerot said Cauchi had ’empty eyes’ and pictures of him released today looked nothing like the man who embarked on an indiscriminate stabbing frenzy.

‘His eyes were like empty eyes… he wasn’t there,’ Mr Guerot said.

The two mates launched the bollards at Cauchi but he managed to escape.

Mr Guerot grabbed a chair and made chase with NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott who shot Cauci dead after he lunged at her.

The Frenchman praised the quick-thinking of Inspector Scott.

‘She was actually the hero, she did the job,’ he said. 

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