A PLAY worker who rushed to give first aid to a stabbed police officer has been commended for her actions as she gave evidence at a trial.
Witness Elizabeth Rivano, from Stamshaw Adventure Playground, was giving evidence to jurors hearing the prosecution case against Michael Enzanga, 20, from London, who is accused of stabbing neighbourhood officer PC Russell Turner on February 21 this year.
Ms Rivano called an ambulance and administered first aid as the assailant fled. ‘I told him to lay down and put the pressure on the wound,’ she said.
‘I remember being over him, quite protectively thinking he was going to come back.’
She said: ‘His jacket was soaked in blood and there was two obvious puncture wounds in his jacket.’
Ms Rivano added: ‘I could see that there was two stab wounds quite close to each other, one had been quite flat, the other was protruding, it was a sucking wound.’
After she finished giving evidence, judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘I think everyone would wish to commend you for the assistance you gave on the 21st.’
Ms Rivano had seen a black man being attacked in the nearby skate park by two white men after children at the playground said ‘he was being killed’ at around 6.30pm the day before the stabbing.
She said the man was around 5ft 8in and in his 20s and ‘had an injury to his head’ with children telling her a ‘bar’ had been used. He asked Ms Rivano not to call the police, left the area but came back briefly, she said.
Staff called police and collected clingfilm-wrapped drugs for officers who later collected them after the three men left.
Ms Rivano said she saw the same man on the morning of February 21 when she arrived at work at Stamshaw Adventure Playground at around 10am with a ‘makeshift’ dressing on his left temple.
She said: ‘I recognised him straightaway so I called out to him: “Do you remember me from last night? Are you okay? How’s your head?
‘He said “yeah it’s fine, it’s fine do you know those two men from last night?”’
‘I said no.’
Later a child told her ‘it’s happening again, he’s being attacked again,’ Ms Rivano added before saying she realised the black man she had previously seen was actually being arrested, not attacked.
It was then she saw PC Russell Turner being stabbed. She said: ‘The black guy pulled a knife out, and then I just shouted out to (to the children) go back in the playground.’
She added: ‘The guy made two stabbing motion towards Russ’s abdomen, missed, Russ curled away from it twice. He went to the side. I thought he missed again but then he managed to pull around and over the top of Russ and get two in quite close succession into the back.’
It was then she gave first aid, putting pressure directly to the wound.
Ms Rivano said she picked two faces out of an ID procedure.
Enzanga, who was 19 at the time and is from Ashfield Road in Tottenham, London, denies grievous bodily harm with intent, possessing a knife, criminal property of almost £1,000, and four charges of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.
The drug charges relate to recovered heroin and crack cocaine wraps found on the day of the incident and the day before, both in the park, and both with Enzanga’s DNA on them, prosecutor Dale Sullivan said. The cash was found on February 21.