Cape Town – A campaign to raise money has started for a man who was thrown from a moving train after he attempted to intervene a robbery.
Darren August, from Athlone, was on his way to Somerset West last Monday where he works as a facilitator and teaches homeless children.
He and four other commuters were in a carriage when nine men boarded and robbed the passengers near Firgrove station. Darryn told a cousin that a heavily pregnant woman was among those being terrorised.
His brother Bernard told News sites that Darryn tried to talk the robbers out of it.
“It’s not in his nature to stand back and do nothing. If he sees something bad going down, he would always step in,” he said.
“But when he tried to intervene, one of the guys hit him with a crowbar. He tried to get up but he was stabbed in the head with a knife,” he said. “Darryn lost consciousness for a few minutes and when he came to, he was being tossed out of the train.”
The 27-year-old hit a tree before he landed, breaking his spine.
While the robbers had taken his iPad, ID and some money, they hadn’t seen his cellphone in a side pocket of his backpack.
“As he lay there, he phoned emergency services before he passed out. He was found still lying there three hours later by a maintenance worker who also phoned for assistance.”
Darryn also suffered two collapsed lungs but fortunately escaped without any brain damage, Bernard said. He underwent three-hour spinal surgery on Thursday, but the prognosis remains bleak.
“We were told he has a zero chance of using his legs again. He is currently still drowsy because of the morphine, but we are here for him. Recovery is possible. God will make the final decision.”
Graeme Dale Kuys, a close friend of Darren, has started a campaign to raise money to help him during this tough time. At the time of writing this, R10 000 had been raised in a matter of hours.
“We want to raise funds to assist him in his recovery and to show support for his bravery. What better way than to spend 15 hours riding a bicycle up and down a mountain. All are welcome to join in for a picnic or even to do some cycling.
The August family are determined to see the robbers caught. Anyone with information regarding the robbery is urged to phone investigating officer Maggie Puren at Somerset West police on (021) 850 1334/1325
“I am hoping to find the passengers who were on the carriage that day so that the suspects can be identified in some way. That’s all we want – justice for Darryn.”