As It Happens

Londoner returns to scene of the attack to pay his restaurant bill and tip the waiter

The day after Richard Angell was trapped in a restaurant in London's Borough Market amid a deadly truck and knife attack, he returned to the scene of the chaos.
Richard Angell says he refuses to be afraid in his own city at Saturday night's attack in London. (Facebook)

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The day after Richard Angell was trapped in a restaurant in London's Borough Market amid a deadly truck and knife attack, he returned to the scene of the chaos. 

"Sadly, it's not open yet, although we're hoping to meet the staff this evening. But we need to pay the bill, " Angell told As It Happens host Carol Off on Monday afternoon.

"I know what it's like to live in London and live off your tips and I don't think those people should lose out because of these barbarous people."

 'If somebody putting their foot and their body weight behind a glass door to stop a terrorist from getting in doesn't deserve a tip getting doubled, then you know what? I don't know what does."- Richard  Angell

Seven people, including one Canadian, were killed by attackers who drove a van at high speed into pedestrians on London Bridge and then stabbed revellers in the nearby Borough Market area on Saturday night. 

Police officers stand on duty by a cordon near to Borough Market in London on Monday following a deadly Saturday-night attack. (Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images)

Angell, director of the Progress think-tank, was having dinner with friends at the Arabica Bar and Kitchen when the deadly attack unfolded.

He told As It Happens the chaos began when a Borough Market security official came into the restaurant and said: "Close and lock the door. Duck and cover. Get out of the way."

"And this young man, one of the waiters, who was overworked and underpaid, I'm sure, put his foot in the door and his body weight behind to it make sure nobody could get through that glass door, which I thought was a pretty remarkable thing to do," Angell said. 

"And if somebody putting their foot and their body weight behind a glass door to stop a terrorist from getting in doesn't deserve a tip getting doubled, then you know what? I don't know what does."

And that wasn't the only act of courage Angell witnessed that night

While Angell and about 30 other people were barricaded in the restaurant, he says he saw a man outside the glass doors throwing a table.

"I didn't understand what that was at the time, but it turned out to be this wonderfully heroic guy who witnessed these barbarous but cowardly people stabbing a young woman, and to try and make them stop he threw bottles at them and glasses at them and he tried to throw a bike at them and he threw a table at them. And he's one of the heroes from that night."

School girls look at floral tributes after a vigil to remember the victims of the attack on London Bridge and Borough Market. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

Angell and the others were in the restaurant for about 40 minutes while police swept the area, he said. They heard multiple rounds of gunfire, and eventually, officers showed up and evacuated the building.

"The police just basically encouraged us to run and run further," he said. "And we're running through the streets and people had kicked off their shoes, dropped their wallets, blood was about, victims, paramedics and the great police officers that had secured our city."

But despite the fear and panic of that night, Angell said he's determined to keep a brave face in the aftermath of Britain's third attack since March.

"I'm not going to be scared in my own city. I'm not going to be scared and let these people win," he said.

"You know, most of the staff at the restaurant that thought about our lives when their lives were at risk are not actually from London. But they are Londoners now. And they're the people that we do it for. And they're the reason why we say we will hold on to our humanity in this barbarism. We will not stoop to their level."

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