Man Caught Up In London Attack Explains Why He Returned to Pay His Restaurant Bill: 'These People Shouldn't Win'

"That's what makes London so great."

Though the media referred to London as "reeling" in the wake of the June 3 terror attack that has left seven dead and dozens of others wounded, England's capital city is anything but.

Need proof? Richard Angell was at Arabica Bar and Kitchen in Borough Market on Saturday night enjoying dinner and drinks with friends when three attackers armed with knives began stabbing people in the vicinity, seemingly at random, after driving a speeding van into a crowd of people on London Bridge.

In all the chaos, Angell and other Arabica patrons (as well as patrons of several nearby bars) took cover and were eventually led to safety by law enforcement without having paid their bills. Despite the harrowing ordeal, Angell returned to Arabica and settled his tab just hours after the attack.

"We're not going to let these people win," he told the BBC in the video below of his decision to revisit Arabica and pay his bill. "If me having a gin and tonic with my friends, flirting with handsome men, hanging out with brilliant women, is what offends these people so much, I'm going to do it more, not less."

"Because that's what makes London so great, that's what makes this the best city in the world," he added. "And we're going to go out and enjoy it more."

Angell described Saturday night more in-depth to Buzzfeed News. 

"Suddenly we were aware of security saying lock the door and duck and cover," Angell says, recalling what the attack looked like from inside Arabica to BuzzFeed News. "People jumped to the floor, knocking over tables. I looked up and saw outside a guy throwing chairs and a table at the restaurant opposite. It was totally unclear what it was but it turned out to be this hero."

The 33-year-old also recounted parts of his ordeal on Twitter, and praised law enforcement for their swift and effective response.


In addition, Angell, who is director of the thinktank Progress, singled out the actions of one restaurant staffer as the attack was unfolding, telling The Independent, "This remarkable young waiter, who probably wasn't being paid very much, positioned himself next to the door, put his foot behind it and wedged it closed."

The heroic and remarkable actions of the staff are part of the reason why Angell now wants to settle his bill. "Despite the fact that their lives were at risk, the staff were concerned about our lives, which was a remarkable thing, and I will be going back not only to pay the bill, but also to double the tip," he tells The Independent.

The Arabica staff weren't the only heroes that night.

"I noticed a group of paramedics working on this woman face-first on the ground," Angell tells Buzzfeed News. They have to run to the danger and then turn their back on it while the rest of us run for our lives."

Angell says he heard gunshots as diners remained inside for about a half hour while law enforcement officials did multiple sweeps of the building. Once he was able to leave the bar and take note of his surroundings, he began to realize the full scope of the attack.


"These people shouldn't win. This is the best city in the world and Borough Market is one of my favorite bits of the best city in the world," he tells BuzzFeed News. "I'm not going to let the barbaric acts of cowardly people minimize that."

It's that stoicism that's earned Angell much praise after Saturday's attack, and as you can see from the tweet below, he's already returned to Arabica and settled his bill.


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