Watch: London policeman tells how he fought off London Bridge attackers

Watch: London policeman tells how he fought off London Bridge attackers

A police officer has told how he fought off all three London Bridge attackers with just his baton after being blinded in one eye as they swiped at him with their knives.

Wayne Marques, who has spoken publicly for the first time since the terror attack earlier this month, said he thought he was going to die after being stabbed multiple times.

The British Transport Police officer was near the start of his Saturday nightshift and on patrol with a colleague in the area of London Bridge Station when he heard screams.

He said he knew something was wrong when he saw bouncers and customers queuing to get into a nearby bar standing "like deers in the headlights".

The 38-year-old, who was born in Birmingham but lives in south London, initially thought the disturbance was a pub fight that had spilled out onto the streets or maybe a gang fight "at the most".

He was approached by an off-duty Metropolitan Police officer who said he saw someone stabbed, and shortly afterwards Pc Marques himself witnessed people being attacked in Borough High Street near the junction with London Bridge Street.

He said: "I remember grabbing my baton with my right hand and I racked (extended) it. I took a deep breath and I just charged the first one (attacker)."

He added: "As I got near him I swung at him with everything I had as hard as I could, straight through his head, trying to go for like a knock-out blow."

He said he heard the attacker "yelp in pain".

Pc Marques, who has since recovered his sight after being wounded just above his right eye, was stabbed numerous times, with the major injuries to his head, left leg and left hand.

The officer, who has worked with BTP for just under two years and was a PCSO with the Met for around six years beforehand, described the "instant darkness" when he was stabbed in the head by one of the terror trio.

He said: "He'd hit me so hard that my right eye went lights out straight away, I just went blind."

In a fight that he believes lasted somewhere up to 90 seconds, Pc Marques, who had not long recovered from a football injury, was set upon by all three terrorists.

He said: "The second one and the third one I was basically fighting left to right, because I only had one eye so I'm moving left to right, left to right."

At that point he recalled being stabbed in the leg by the first attacker.

He said: "I'm thinking: 'Shit, there's a knife in my leg while I'm fighting the second one and the third one.'"

After being stabbed in the hand he said he could remember little except for "swinging (my baton) all over the place".

Of his injuries at the time, he said: "I didn't realise how badly I was hurt. The adrenaline, the fighting, all of that, I could feel what they were doing to me but I couldn't feel it at the same time.

"I could just feel that I'd been cut and hurt."

In a surreal moment seconds later he described how the attackers - Youssef Zaghba, Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane - stood facing him.

He said: "And the three of them were standing together almost shoulder-to-shoulder in like a little wolf pack and they're staring at me. And that's when I get to size them up.

"The short one that was on the right-hand side, he was the one that I heard saying 'Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar'. He said it a few times, eyes bulging."

He added: "And I'm basically just like a cowboy western movie waiting for the draw, waiting for them to make their move."

For reasons he said he did not know, the attackers instead rushed off towards Borough Market where they continued their rampage.

More on this topic

Man arrested after teenagers injured in Hague stabbingMan arrested after teenagers injured in Hague stabbing

Johnson warns early release ‘not working’ as London Bridge attacker was freed to killJohnson warns early release ‘not working’ as London Bridge attacker was freed to kill

London Bridge killer was ‘ex-prisoner released with electronic tag’London Bridge killer was ‘ex-prisoner released with electronic tag’

Three children injured in Hague stabbingThree children injured in Hague stabbing

More in this Section

Wildlife conservationist attacked by several of her own tigersWildlife conservationist attacked by several of her own tigers

Finland's social democrats select country's youngest-ever prime ministerFinland's social democrats select country's youngest-ever prime minister

US naval base fatal shooting presumed to be terror act, says FBIUS naval base fatal shooting presumed to be terror act, says FBI

Saudi restaurants no longer need to segregate women and menSaudi restaurants no longer need to segregate women and men


Lifestyle

Overshadowed by its giant neighbours it may be, but the smallest of the main Blasket islands, Beginish, is no less impressive in its own right.The Islands of Ireland: The miracle of Beginish

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten — Psalm 90How to tell an animal’s age in a heartbeat

We often hear how nature will do well, even come back from the brink of extinction, if given a chance and some human help.Birds of prey on the rise

In our country we still have places that bear no evidence of disturbance by man, that are in their pristine state and rich with all the elements that feed the spirit and deliver us into the world beyond the skin of the time and circumstances we live in.Unique ambience of Dursey Island under threat

More From The Irish Examiner