LONDON: A Muslim man who ran over and killed a knifeman who was stabbing his ex-wife to death has urged police to abandon the case against him after he was charged on suspicion of murder.
The 26-year-old Chechen, named Abraham, intervened in the stabbing in West London, and has been labeled a hero for his actions, the Mail Online reported.
On Monday, Leon McCaskie, a 41-year-old who was known to police over abusive and angry behavior, attacked his former wife, Yasmin Wafah Chkaifi, 43, with a knife.
Abraham, who was driving nearby, saw the attack and rammed into McCaskie with his car.
But despite his efforts to save the defenseless woman, Abraham was charged and bailed until next month on a murder charge. It has left him “living in a nightmare,” according to his friends.
Abraham said: “I do not see why I, as the person who tried to assist in the defense of other human beings, remain arrested and on bail under suspicion of murder.”
Anger over his treatment has grown, with more than 20,000 people signing a petition demanding the case against him be dropped.
His lawyer, Mohammed Akunjee, issued a statement on behalf of Abraham. “I witnessed a man repeatedly stabbing a defenseless woman on the pavement a short distance in front of my car,” it said.
“I drove my vehicle toward the attacker in order to get him away from the woman he was attacking. I did not intend to harm the attacker. I only intended to protect those being attacked.
“My vehicle struck the attacker and he was taken under my car, causing it to stall. I could not reverse my car to free him. I and the other passersby attempted to lift the car away from the attacker so we could provide the man with first aid.
“Unfortunately we were unsuccessful with this and I have since learned that both the young lady and her attacker have died. I am deeply sorry that the man I tried to stop from attacking other people has died.
“It was never my intention to harm him, I just wanted to stop him from hurting anybody further. My only regret is that God did not allow me to be present at the scene sooner so that my intervention may have saved the life of the young woman concerned.
“I have asked my solicitor to contact the Metropolitan Police to request that they consider de-arresting me and begin treating me as a witness to a tragic event rather than as a criminal as they currently are.”
Abraham’s friends said he was in shock over the incident.
One said: “If he ever sees anyone in trouble he will always try to help. He’s a good Muslim man and couldn’t bear to see the woman being attacked.
“He was on his way to a job and stopped to do the right thing. He’s in shock about what happened. It’s been a nightmare for him.”
Another said: “This guy is a family man with children and was just doing the right thing. It was instinct and an act of human kindness.
“He is one of the most peaceful and good people I’ve ever met. He would never walk away when somebody needs help.
“He risked his life to save this poor woman. Police should praise him and let him go to his little children and wife.”
London’s Metropolitan Police said Abraham had been “fully cooperative” after being arrested following the incident.
The force is also facing criticism after it was revealed that it had been warned over McCaskie’s potential for violent behavior.
Chkaifi was increasingly concerned that McCaskie would try to kill her after learning that he had planted secret cameras in her home.
“He’s had cameras in my house recording me for months. He’s stolen my mail, my phone and has access to all my personal data. I think he will kill me.”
Chkaifi had filed a police report over the stalking allegations.
McCaskie was also convicted of obstructing a police officer and driving without insurance in 2017.
Chkaifi was a qualified childminder and was studying for a master’s degree.
A friend said of the slain mother: “She was a good soul. It’s very rare in life you come across a good soul. She always had a happy disposition. She was just a lovely person.”
Another said: “She was incredibly kind, hospitable and an amazing cook and dancer. She had a bubbly personality and a confidence about her that was so attractive.
“She was proud of her Moroccan heritage and a spiritual woman. We spoke about Islam, identity and social justice. She was a good person.”