‘I took a deep breath and just charged’: Hero policeman tells of moment he battled London Bridge terrorists with just his baton


A hero police officer has described the moment he fought off the three London Bridge terrorists with just his baton – despite being blinded in one eye after being stabbed in the face.

Wayne Marques said he thought he was going to die after being knifed multiple times when terrorists mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge, before going on a stabbing rampage in Borough Market.

The British Transport Police (BTP) officer was starting his Saturday nightshift near London Bridge station when he heard screams as the attackers began their rampage.

He has spoken publicly for the first time since the attack, during which he was stabbed in the face and leg.

London Bridge and Borough Market terrorist attack

 

The heroic officer has since recovered his sight, having been slashed just above his right eye.

Eight people were killed and dozens others injured in the attack on June 3.

PC Marques 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 and now 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”.

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Pc Marques describes the moment he confronted the terrorists (PA)

He was approached by an off-duty Met 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).

“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 was one of four police officers injured in the attack.

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 terrorists.

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

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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.”

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.”

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.

He was visited in hospital by BTP chief constable Paul Crowther, who praised his “enormous courage” in fighting the terrorists.

Mr Crowther said: “Having visited the officer in hospital shortly after he was admitted for treatment, I was able to hear his account of what happened.

“It became clear that he showed enormous courage in the face of danger, as did many others who were at the scene and rushed to help.”

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