Officer who stopped terrorist: Passengers were screaming from the bus for help

Israel Prison Service commander Benny Botarshvili was with three of his officers on their way to court when they heard screams coming from the 40 bus line.

January 21, 2015 09:33
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv terror attack

The officers from the Israel Prison Service unit that stopped the attacker in Tel Aviv (from the Nahson unit). (photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)

The police commander who caught the Tel Aviv bus attacker spoke Wednesday about how he and his team of officers, who happened to be passing by, managed to prevent the stabber from getting away.

Benny Botarshvili, who commands officers from the Israel Prison Service's Nahshon unit, said he and three officers were on their way to court when commotion from a nearby bus caught their attention.

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"We were driving near the Ma'ariv junction on our way to the courthouse and we heard a commotion from a bus and people screaming for help," Botarshvili said.

"We saw the attacker and chased after him. We first fired in the air and when he didn't stop, we fired at his feet and the attacker fell to the ground. We restrained him on the ground until area police could arrive at the scene."

The assailant is a 23-year-old man from the West Bank city of Tulkarm, illegally residing in Israel, police said.

The suspected terrorist stabbed at least nine people on the 40 bus line in Tel Aviv  near the Maariv junction around 7:30 A.M. on Wednesday.

Two of the victims were seriously injured and several others suffered moderate injuries, Magen David Adom said. Others at the scene were treated for shock.

The injured were evacuated to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

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