'Hero' dad who fought off Hainault attacker says 'miracle' saved family as he was convinced they were 'going to die'

9 May 2024, 08:49 | Updated: 9 May 2024, 11:31

Survivor Henry De Los Rios Polania with his daughter (left) and Daniel Anjorin (right) who died in the attack
Survivor Henry De Los Rios Polania with his daughter (left) and Daniel Anjorin (right) who died in the attack. Picture: Alamy/Instagram

By Christian Oliver

A man who was injured fending off a sword-wielding assailant at his Hainault home said he believes a 'miracle' saved his family as he thought they were 'going to die'.

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Henry De Los Rios Polania, his wife and four-year-old daughter were asleep when the attacker burst into their home armed with a sword last Tuesday morning on April 30.

The father, who works as an IT engineer, suffered serious hand injuries as he fought off the intruder.

Four others were attacked during the sword-wielder's rampage, including Daniel Anjorin, 14, while he was walking to school.

"I thought I was going to die... even my wife and child. We thought we were going to die that morning," Mr Los Rios Polania said.

Daniel Anjorin, the 14-year-old boy killed on a rampage by a sword-wielding attacker
Daniel Anjorin, the 14-year-old boy killed on a rampage by a sword-wielding attacker. Picture: Alamy

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Read More: Hainault teen attack victim Daniel Anjorin 'decapitated' by swordsman in bloody north London rampage, court hears

He told the BBC that he believes "a miracle happened in that room" that meant his family were saved.

The couple had fallen asleep watching television and woke up to see the attacker in front of them.

Mr Los Rios Polania said he then looked around for something to protect himself but could only see "pillows and teddy bears" to hand.

Only the father was injured and later hospitalised overnight. He will undergo further procedures following a 10-hour surgery to reconstruct his tendon and veins.

While his wife and child were physically fine, Mr Los Rios Polania said he was concerned that his daughter would suffer trauma later in her life and hoped that she wouldn't remember anything.

His sister, Jessica De Los Rios, 31, last week described him as a "hero" for protecting his family from the assailant.

In response, Mr Los Rios Polania explained that he would do anything to protect his family. He also thanked medical professionals and emergency services who saved him and his family.

Hainault - Floral tributes left to Daniel Anjorin

People attend a vigil at Hainault Underground Station Car Park in memory of 14-year-old Daniel Anjorin, May 5
People attend a vigil at Hainault Underground Station Car Park in memory of 14-year-old Daniel Anjorin, May 5. Picture: Alamy

Mr Los Rios Polania said he feels "so sorry" for Daniel's family after seeing the young boy lying on the floor.

He also revealed in the BBC interview that he was yet to return to his home due to the ongoing investigation but feared they would never return due to the trauma.

Marcus Arduini Monzo is charged with Daniel's murder, two counts of attempted murder-Whitfield, and two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He is also charged with aggravated burglary and possession of a bladed article.

The alleged samurai sword attacker appeared at the Old Bailey accused of virtually decapitating a 14-year-old schoolboy during a 20-minute rampage.

Monzo allegedly ran up behind Daniel Anjorin and slashed him in the neck and chest as the youngster was walking to school.

Monzo, 36, also allegedly injured four other people - including two police officers - during five separate incidents over 20 minutes in Hainault, north-east London, on April 30.

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