A witness to the Flinders Street attack said his actions in rushing to the aid of a badly injured woman were nothing extraordinary.
Seconds aftermother-of-four Rebecca Larrigan was mowed down by an SUV,Jake Cini ignored any danger to himself to provide help.
After organising an emergency call, Mr Ciniheld the hand of Ms Larrigan and chattedtoher “about her children, what she does for work” to prevent her falling unconscious. “She was in excruciating pain,” the49-year-oldsaid.
“I don’t think I’m a hero at all. I’m so impressed by how many people responded and didn’t run away.
Jake Cini returns to Flinders Street on Sunday. Photo: Daniel Pockett
“We didn’t know whether he was going to come out of there with a gun, whether there was a bomb.
“There were a lot of good Samaritans on that day.”
Returning to the scene on Sunday, ittook him 30 minutes to muster the courage to cross the road. “I asked some tourists, ‘Could you walk with me?’ “
“It’s starting to hit me now, I think.”
The alleged driver, Saeed Noori, 32,has been charged with 18 counts of attempted murder and one count of reckless conduct endangering life.
Nine people remain in hospital,including three in a critical condition, as of Monday afternoon.
Ms Larrigan, 35, is recovering in hospital from a broken kneecap and leg, a broken nose, fractured wrist and bruising on the brain.
Before the incident, Mr Cini, of Southbank, and nephew LucaPiperno, 6, had spent a wonderful two days shopping, bowling, and seeing a movie.
The pair orderedhot chips at Lord of the Fries, but Luca wanted Hungry Jack’s.Mr Cini says if he had given in, and crossed Elizabeth Street, they may have been hit by the SUV.
He remembers hearing ametallic “thump”, before seeing the SUV crashing into a tram stop metres away.
The driver appeared unconscious as two policemen dragged him out of the car.
“I got so angry, I swore at the guy,” Mr Cini said.
Mr Cini told Luca to shelter on the footpath and not move and yelled at Lord of the Fries staff to call an Triple 0. He later wrote an email to Lord of the Fries, apologising for being abrupt, and they sent a pack of store merchandise.
Jake Cini and nephew Luca Piperno outside the Eureka Tower. Photo: Jake Cini
Mr Ciniand Lucalater gave police statements and were reunited with Luca’smother and Mr Cini’s sister, Lisa, Luca’s two sisters and grandmother, Doris.
Theywent to McDonald’s and the Myer windows, “trying to put that Christmas joy back”.
Mr Ciniwas worried about what Luca saw. “It’s hard to say because he’s being so brave.”
“He saw more than me. He remembered the type of car, he said it was a Jeep-like car, he saw the guy on his phone, he saw another guy with blood all around the head.”
Mr Cini, a bowling alley manager,is familiar with trauma: 15 years ago he was held up with a gun to his head during a robbery on an Oakleigh go-kart centre.
He will work on Christmas Day, preferring to keep busy. He has arranged to have counselling.