Dulwich restaurant manager tells of terrifying stabbing on the doorstep of his up-market eatery

By Regina Motalib

A restaurant manager described the terrifying moment his up-market eatery in Dulwich became the site of a stabbing.

Robert Harwood of Spinach Restaurant on Lordship Lane told the South London Press how their usual peaceful Monday afternoon was disrupted by a sudden commotion outside on April 19.

Robert said: “There was some kind of scuffle happening outside the restaurant.

“A moped had stopped and two young black males in their late teens to early twenties, were involved in an altercation.

“One of the men grabbed a parasol from our table and used it to fend off the other guy who was attacking him.”

Robert said the men then ran inside the restaurant to continue what seemed like a brawl.

He added: “the attacker followed the other guy who ran inside our restaurant.

“It was terrifying for our customers and staff as he was holding a large knife.”

Robert Harwood – Manager of Spinach Restaurant. Photo Credit: Regina Motalib

Another member of staff who didn’t wish to be named described how he joined terrified diners and took cover behind the bar.

He described the horrifying moment the attacker came face to face with him, holding a ‘rambo style hunting knife’.

He said: “It happened so quickly, the guy was stood there facing me holding the large blade.

“He then started picking up bottles from our display and hurling them at the other man who was stood at the end of the bar.

“I instinctively ducked and hid behind the bar. Another couple of customers were also crouched behind the bar.

“We could hear bottles and glasses being smashed and lots of shouting. As soon as I realised the attacker had ran out of the restaurant, I rushed to the back and called the police.”

“This shocking incident seem surreal but it’s good  to see out regular customers and neighbours visiting the restaurant again and supporting us with their custom and their kindness and concern.”

Manager Robert said it wasn’t quite clear whether the man had been stabbed outside or inside the restaurant. He explained: “Both men were wearing balaclavas, helmets and thick clothing and we couldn’t see any blood on the floor.”

Robert added that once the attacker had fled the scene, the staff and customers tended to the victim.

He said: “It was decided to take him to the roofing shop next door and wait there for help. Removing him from the scene seemed like the best bet – just in case the attacker returned before the police arrived.”

Dan, branch manager of ‘All Type Roofing Supplies’ described the moment they witnessed what appeared to be a fight, against the railings outside of their store.

He said: “There were two guys on mopeds chasing another guy on a moped.

“The attackers moped was left on the other side of the road. The incident then moved along to Spinach restaurant, next door.

“The attacker may have ran back across the road as we then saw him crossing the road again towards us, holding a huge knife. It was totally visible to everyone.”

Dan and his staff decided to open their doors and allow diners from next door to run for cover inside their shop.

Dan added: “A few people who were eating outside Spinach restaurant ran in and took shelter in our shop. We then locked the doors and called the police.”

Dan said customers and staff were visibly shocked at what was unfolding in front of their eyes: “We saw the attacker speed away with his accomplice on their moped.”

Dan said the injured man then walked towards his shop clutching his chest, assisted by staff and customers from next door.

He said: “We unlocked our door and let him in and pulled up a chair for him. We offered him water but he told us he was fasting.”

Assistant Manager Ross was also present and added: “He told us he had been stabbed. A guy dressed in green scrubs holding a first aid box came inside our store and started tending to the man.”

Ross described how the first aider helped him out of his “thick” clothing in order to access the wound.

He added: “The first aider wrapped bandage around the victims wound – We gave him some thick tissue to help stem the bleeding. The paramedics arrived 10 minutes later and took over.”

Ross said despite the shock everyone around the victim was trying to calm and reassure him. He said: “It was shocking for us all but our priority was to make sure everyone was ok and the victim felt safe too.”



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