A black man who carried an injured white man to safety during violent clashes between rival protesters in Waterloo has told why he did it.
The white man, an alleged far-right protester describing themselves as “statue protectors”, was on the ground and being beaten by rival activists when personal trainer and grandfather Patrick Hutchinson rescued him.
Dad-of-two and martial arts expert Mr Hutchinson, who has been called a hero, said the man’s life was “under threat” when he scooped him off the floor, threw him over his shoulder and carried him towards riot police officers while his friends formed a barrier around him.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “He represents the best of us.”
Patrick, personal trainer who works with elite athletes at Hercules Wimbledon Athletics Club, said on BBC Breakfast: “He can show and help by ending all these reviews and gettind down to business.
“It is extremely important. Grenfell is still sorted. A black man in Atlanta was shot. It has to stop. In the UK we can show we are not liek them and everyone else can fall into line.
“You have to hope things will be better. I have to raise my daughters to believe one day they will have equal opportunities in whatever they do in their futures.”
Mr Hutchinson said he had been reminded of police inaction during the death of George Floyd.
He told BBC Breakfasts this morning: “It all happened really quickly with my friends and I that turned up on the day to oversee thinigs and make sure things did not get out of hand.
They noticed some trouble by waterloo leading up to embankment. There was a clash between statue protectors and BLM. It looked like the far-right protesters dispersed and left someone by himself. It wasn’t a good place for him with the protestors around him.
“He was on his own. It was not a pretty scene. They grabbed hold of him and he was making his way down the stairs. I noticed a Rastafarian trying to cordon everyone off to try and protect him but one single person could not do that. It got too much. My guys rushed in to help because they knew it was not going to be a pretty sight. All that was left for me to do was pick him up on my shoulder and start moving out, with people around me protecting.
“My fear was he would have ended up being killed. The news and the narrative would have switched to BLM protestors killing a white man.
“I had been babysitting my grandchildren. A good friend Pierre Noah said to try and be protectors of young protesters. I left my grandchildren with a heavy heart. I am glad I did in the end cos some good came of it.
“It is a difficult one to explain to my daughters. I say we are all equal, one race. No one is superior to anyone else and we all need to get along together. But as black people we have had a short end of the stick. Equality has not been three for us. This will not be the situation for them, as they get older and wiser. We have to believe that one day there will be true equality.”
His daughters Sidena, aged 10, above right, said. “It felt really good. My dad has always been one of those people who helped. To see him finally getting the praise he needed was good.
“People at my school said my dad is a superhero. It felt good for people to see that.”
Daughter Kendal, aged eight: “I am just happy daddy went and saved the man. Daddy did such a good job. I am just happy he did that. I felt so excited because daddy might be famous. He saved the man and then he could be famous.”
Patrick told Channel 4 News: “If the other three police officers, standing around when George Floyd was murdered, had thought about intervening and stopping their colleague from doing what he was doing like what we did, George Floyd would still be alive today.
“I just want equality for all of us. At the moment, the scales are unfairly balanced and I want things to be fair for my children and my grandchildren.’
Violent clashes erupted on Saturday as far-right protesters gathered in Parliament Square and around the Cenotaph in Westminster.
After attacking police, they clashed with Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters in Trafalgar Square and near Waterloo station, where Mr Hutchinson rescued the man.
The man he saved was caught alone by a group of black youths after being left by his friends, it was reported.
Patrick formed a group with four of his friends, who are part of London-based close protection group Ark Protection, to protect young Black Lives Matter protesters from getting caught up in violence at the protests.
He said: “It was pretty hectic, almost like a stampede.
“There were people trying to protect him, but unsuccessfully. And then the guys went in there, they sort of put a little cordon around him to stop him receiving any more physical harm.
“His life was under threat.
“And whilst they did that I thought, ‘well if he stays here he’s not going to make it’.
“So I just went under, scooped him up and put him on my shoulders and sort of started marching towards the police with him whilst all the guys were sort of surrounding me and protecting me and the guy I had on my shoulder.
“I could actually feel strikes and hits as I was carrying him, so these guys were probably taking some of that themselves on their person.”
He later posted: “It’s not black v white it everyone v the racists!
“We had each other’s back and protected those who needed us.”
In an interview with Channel 4, Mr Hutchinson downplayed the notion that he is a hero – and said the friends who protected him deserve the same credit – without them, he feared he might have been trampled by the crowd.
His friends were Pierre Noah, a bodyguard and martial arts teacher who runs Ark Protection, fellow personal trainer and MMA fighter Jamaine Facey, security consultant and martial artist Lee Russell and businessman Chris Otokito, who has won Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions.
Mr Noah, from Croydon, said someone could have been killed had they not stepped in..
The 47-year-old described the clashes outside Waterloo Station.: “They were going to beat him up and stamp on him,” he said.
The group have not spoken to or seen the man they saved since.
“If we didn’t do that I wouldn’t like to think what would have happened to the poor guy,” said Mr Noah.
“We wanted to save his life and save the Black Lives Matter campaign as well.”
He said he wanted to save the lives of young black boys who could have been targeted by “hooligans” if anything had happened to the white man.
“We were ready to help anyone, no matter what their colour, it’s for the right purpose,” Mr Noah said. “We could have easily stood there and watched those kids with their knees on that white man’s head, but we chose to help.”
Mr Facey posted a video after the incident, with the caption: “My team rolled out and #edl did s***.”
Referring to the group of friends as “soldiers”, he said in the clip they were at the protests to “look after the kids”, adding: “We protected life today. They could have committed murder today.”
He also posted a photo showing the white man being lifted up by a crowd, writing: “Tell #tommyrobinson me and my team save his boy life and to all my old ass big mandem we save your sons life from killing someone today.”
The picture was taken at the end of day of violence, which came to a head as a police deadline loomed for protestors to leave central London.
Labour MP David Lammy called Mr Hutchinson a “hero”, tweeting: “Patrick Hutchinson carries an injured stranger to safety during yesterday’s protests. It’s easy to focus on the worst instincts of human behaviour. But it is vital we also celebrate the best.”
Hercules Wimbledon said: “Our own coach Patrick Hutchinson saved a counter-protester’s life on Saturday with the help of his security team Ark Protection. What a hero he is, and everything that Hercules Wimbledon AC stands for.”
England Athletics shared news of the coach’s actions on Twitter and said: “There are many reasons to be proud of volunteers in the England Athletics family – & the selfless actions of athletics coach Patrick Hutchinson, of Hercules Wimbledon AC, at the weekend are rightly being commended by people across the country.”
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