Chair at centre of Sydney stabbing

 

The chair at the centre of Sydney's dramatic alleged stabber chase down has been returned to its cafe but the man who used it as a weapon remains a mystery.

While one of the heroes who first stepped in to stop the alleged knifeman has yet to publicly speak out about the ordeal, more detail surrounding others involved in the shocking restraint have emerged.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said they didn't want to miss any person who may have "acted courageously" and traffic controller Steven Georgiadas estimates there were up to 15 people involved in the chase.

A hero himself, Mr Georgiadas first attempted to crash tackle Mert Ney before standing on the "massive" knife allegedly used to stab 41-year-old woman in the back at Hotel CBD and slit the throat of a 24-year-old sex worker in a Clarence Street in the CBD on Tuesday afternoon.

"I heard some screaming and shouting coming from (Wynyard Park)," he told news.com.au.

"It was really, really loud - 'Stop him, get out of the way' - with a whole stack of men chasing him.

"I responded really quickly because I've had a similar incident before."

The man who approached the knifeman with a cafe chair has yet to speak publicly.
The man who approached the knifeman with a cafe chair has yet to speak publicly.

 

Cafe worker Marco La Motta said the man just grabbed the chair as he was running past.
Cafe worker Marco La Motta said the man just grabbed the chair as he was running past.

Mr Georgiadas said he'd previously had to crash tackle a robber running from some nearby stores.

"I was ready to crash tackle him but as I've got up to him I saw he had this massive knife pointed down towards the ground," he said.

"As soon as I saw the knife I moved to the side so I could crash tackle him sideways so he wouldn't stab me.

"By that time someone had hit him from behind with a chair. It all happened so quickly.

"He stumbled and the knife, thank God, fell out of his hand. The first thing I did was stand on the knife, meanwhile the others were right on his heels."

 

Steven Georgiadas shows the spot where he stood on Mert Ney’s ‘massive’ butcher’s knife.
Steven Georgiadas shows the spot where he stood on Mert Ney’s ‘massive’ butcher’s knife.

The group of men included local office workers and firefighters who chased the 21-year-old down carrying anything they could find - crow bars, awes and cafe chairs, finally pinning him down with a milk crate.

But Mr Georgiadas said he didn't have a weapon to arm himself with.
"I was going to stop him," he said.

"My instinct kicked in. I didn't know what he'd done, I thought maybe he robbed somebody.

"I thought they were going to kill him. I got scared. I was screaming at the top of my voice for them to stop kicking him.

"I had nothing when I approached him. I saw the knife and I knew how to handle the situation because the knife was too high to kick so I had to tackle him. I almost had him so thank the lord he stumbled and seconds after he got hit in the back."

 

Ney was trapped with milk crate. Picture: Channel 7
Ney was trapped with milk crate. Picture: Channel 7

The man with the chair is a bank worker in the CBD while Alex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert and Paul O'Shaughnessy ran from a nearby office.

"There were a lot of heroes," Mr Georgiadas said.

"A lot of them chased him without a weapon on them. We're all heroes, we all responded I think in a heroic matter.

"I would have got him, I'm telling you. I played a bit of rugby when I was young and even though I'm nearly 68, I would have got him."

Paul O'Shaughnessy, 37, told The Australian it was an "ordinary day" in the office until he looked out the window and saw Ney on the street below with a knife in his hand.

He alerted his brother Luke, 30, but by then, the man had fled so they followed a trail of blood until they found him.

"You could see drips, - the blood was on the ground," he told The Australian. "Like drips so you could see it, see where's he's gone."

"My brother, he was the hero. He got a grip of him, along with another guy we don't know, and put a crate on his head. He was just mumbling religious things," he said.

 

Alex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert and Paul O'Shaughnessy who jumped into help. Picture: Toby Zerna
Alex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert and Paul O'Shaughnessy who jumped into help. Picture: Toby Zerna

The men were praised as "heroes of the highest order" for their role in pinning him down before anyone else was stabbed.

They gave a shoutout to the other bystanders, like the man with the chair, who also confronted the alleged attacker.

"The guys that followed him through the streets with various weapons and all sorts of things, they're the heroes," Lee told Today this morning. "There was two gentlemen who got to him first, and they were the real heroes."

Police this morning revealed more details about Ney's erratic rampage.

 

Ney is now being treated at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he is being guarded by police. Picture: Seven News
Ney is now being treated at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he is being guarded by police. Picture: Seven News

Commissioner Fuller said Ney went on to the street to "kill more people".

However, he said Ney's criminal history was "not remarkable".

"He has some low-level issues around theft, malicious damage," he said.

"He had some domestic violence issues linked back to his family, that again, were not significant or serious injuries.

"However, they were being investigated. But if you look at his spreadsheet from a criminal history perspective, it remains unremarkable."

He added that Ney was listed by his family as a missing person.



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