The motorist who is alleged to have mowed down and killed a knifeman in Maida Vale has called on police to drop their murder investigation into him, and said that he only regrets not getting to the scene sooner, according to a statement from his lawyer.
Giving the driver’s name as “Abraham”, who drove a Blue Renault Clio into a man “repeatedly stabbing a defenceless woman on the pavement”, his lawyer said that he never wanted to harm the attacker, but only wanted to save the woman.
A man was questioned on Monday night on suspicion of murder, after a 26-year-old driver was arrested.
A statement from the motorist, issued by his lawyer Tasnime Akunjee, read: “I am a person of good character. I have never been arrested before in my life.
“This Monday past, I was making my way to work and was waiting in traffic on Chippenham Road in West London at approximately 9am. I witnessed a man repeatedly stabbing a defenceless woman on the pavement a short distance in front of my car.
“Members of the public were attempting to intervene. The attacker was wielding a knife and was threatening those brave citizens too.
“My instant thought was to protect the woman who had been stabbed and the public who were also being threatened.”
‘My only regret is that God did not allow me to be present at the scene sooner’
Describing his decision to intervene in the assault, he said: “The vehicles ahead of me moved off which gave me the opportunity to intervene. I drove my vehicle towards 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 other passers-by attempted to lift the car away from the attacker so we could provide the man with first aid. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in this. We have since learnt 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.”
He added: “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 understand that the police are doing their job and that my being arrested is not unusual. However, I do not see why I as the person who tried to assist in the defence of other human beings remain arrested and on bail under suspicion of murder.
“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.”
Witnesses described how the attacker began stabbing the female victim, identified as Yasmine Wafah Chkaifi, repeatedly outside the entrance to a park in Maida Vale, west London.
As the 43-year-old woman screamed for help, a group of passers-by tried to distract and disarm the attacker.
Paramedics and the air ambulance attended the scene, but both the woman and her 41-year-old attacker were both pronounced dead.
A body being carried away from the scene in Maida Vale, west London Credit: Jamie Lorriman
On Tuesday, Ms Chkaifi’s heartbroken family visited the scene to pay their respects and praise the actions of the passer-by who drove his car into the attacker.
A member of the family said: “The driver of the car was a hero. We didn’t know him at all but he is an absolute hero.
“He saw what was happening and he tried to stop them.
“We want to say to him, ‘Thank you so much. Thank you for risking your life, and thank you for not just standing there filming what was happening. Thank you for trying to do something’.
“He should not have been arrested. He is our hero. Our family are very proud of him and there is no way he should be charged and go through the justice system for what he did.”
The suspected driver’s lawyer has been contacted for comment.