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CST volunteer commended for bravery after protecting Hendon shul from shirtless knifeman

Jonny Dryer protected a woman and two children left outside, acting as a human shield between them and the knifeman

    Det Ch Supt Simon Rose, Jonny Dryer and the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Brian Salinger
    Det Ch Supt Simon Rose, Jonny Dryer and the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Brian Salinger

    A CST volunteer who protected his shul from a shirtless knifeman during a Shabbat service has received a police commendation for bravery.

    A man was detained under the Mental Health Act on July 15 after he rushed towards Toras Chaim shul, in Hendon, north-west London, brandishing two knives.

    Although police officers confirmed the incident was not connected to politics or antisemitism, worshippers and security officials initially feared it was a terror attack.

    Four CST volunteers then barricaded the man, who was not wearing a shirt or shoes, in an empty laundrette after chasing him away from the synagogue.

    CST volunteer Jonny Dryer ushered members inside the shul after he saw the man running directly towards him down the narrow alley leading to the building.

    Mr Dryer then protected a woman and two children left outside, acting as a human shield between them and the knifeman, police said.

    Awarding Mr Dryer the commendation, Barnet borough commander Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Rose praised him for his heroism with “no regard for his own safety”.

    Mr Dryer received the award from Det Ch Supt Rose and the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Brian Salinger, at a ceremony on Thursday January 11.

    Det Ch Supt Rose told the JC: “It was a pleasure to recognise Jonny’s bravery in stepping forward into the face of danger.

    “Although this eventually turned out to be a false alarm with the suspect suffering a mental health episode, to everyone at the time, it looked and felt like the real thing.”

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