A leading cruise executive has urged industry colleagues to be vigilant when holding meetings in outdoor city venues after fending off a gang of knife‑wielding moped muggers.
UK managing director Iain Baillie was reviewing footage for Carnival Cruise Line’s latest trade vlog at a pavement table outside a wine bar in Knightsbridge, London, when attackers struck.
He and digital manager Cameron Watling had just finished filming the ‘Quick Coffee with Carnival’ video for the line’s agent website in Hyde Park when four men approached on two mopeds.
“One said ‘give us your watch’,” said Baillie, 41. “He repeated it, said ‘We’re serious’, then motioned his head downwards. I looked and two nine-inch knives were pressed against my ribs.”
Baillie started to take off his watch, a 40th birthday gift from his wife, but had second thoughts.
Instead of handing it over, he put it in his back pocket, picked up his chair and “shoved it against the attacker’s neck”.
With one knifeman at bay, 6ft 4in Watling, 26, threw a table at the other attacker as the muggers shouted “give us your watch, we’re going to stab you”.
“A barman was thrown to the ground,” Baillie added. “Furniture was flying around and glasses were smashing everywhere. Eventually, the knifemen fled on the back of their accomplices’ scooters.”
Police were called to Motcomb Street, at 2.50pm last Thursday. No arrests have been made.
Baillie said: “The watch has real sentimental value. My first reaction was to give it over, but something changed. I’m pleased I didn’t lose it and no one got hurt, but it was a shock and has heightened my senses about the risks of having meetings outside or walking around in cities. I’d urge everyone to be more vigilant.”
Comedian Michael McIntyre, host of the 2013 Globe Travel Awards, was robbed of his watch by two men on a moped with hammers in northwest London on Monday.
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