LONDON: A Muslim man in London who was released without charge after running over a knife attacker has said it was “his duty to act.”
The 26-year-old Chechen, known as Abraham, works as an electrician and was on his way to a job in London on Jan. 24.
While driving through the neighborhood of Maida Vale, he spotted a man stabbing a woman in the street three times in the chest.
Witnesses tried to stop the attack by Leon McCaskie on his ex-wife Yasmin Chkaifi, but to no avail. Both McCaskie and Chkaifi died after the incident.
Abraham told the Daily Mail: “Should you see an evil it is your duty to stop it with your hands. If you cannot, then you should stop it by speaking out. So I was thinking: ‘How could I face God if I don’t help? It is my duty, my religion.’
“In that moment I knew I had to act. I cannot go away and leave her. I had to help, to try to save her. I did not have time to consider. I thought the safest and quickest option was to push the man away from the woman with my car.
“So I put my car into first gear and drove up onto the pavement. It was a short distance, 10 or 12 feet, and I pushed him, I made an impact. I managed to avoid the woman.
“Then I took my foot off the gas but my car didn’t stop. The momentum continued and I knew the man was under my car. I opened the door and I saw his hand sticking out from under it. That sight stays with me and always will: The man’s hand sticking out.
“My car hit a garden wall and stalled and I tried to reverse but the engine wouldn’t turn over. I kept trying to start the car, to free the man, but I couldn’t. I shouted for help.
“I took my head in my hands and thought: ‘How has this happened?’ I’d tried to save a woman’s life and I’d killed a man. I said a prayer: ‘God forgive me for what I have done’.”
London’s Metropolitan Police on Tuesday said investigators had reviewed the law around self-defense and defense of another, and now considered Abraham “a vital witness” rather than a suspect, which he was initially classified as.
Thousands of people had signed a petition in support of Abraham after he was arrested on suspicion of murder. Members of Chfaiki’s family reportedly hailed him as a “hero.”