Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

NHS track-and-trace worker left unconscious in ‘unprovoked attack over face masks’

Police believe the attacker snapped when the victim tried to put some space between them

A track-and-trace worker was punched repeatedly in an unprovoked attack in a confrontation over face masks, police have said.

The victim, a National Health Service worker, was left unconscious after he had his head stamped on at least five times. He was punched again and again, shortly after he boarded a bus in north London, England.

Security footage shows the victim, 63, going to the back of the bus, apparently trying to put distance between him and the attacker.

“Although there is no sound on the CCTV and all the victim remembers is waking up in hospital, we believe that this was all triggered by face masks,” said investigating officer PC Chris Bowman, from Roads and Transport Policing Command.

“We think that the attacker, who had his face covering beneath his chin, took offence when the victim, who was fully covered, consciously moved away from him.

“When the attacker then follows the victim to the back of the bus, he can be seen pointing and gesturing at the victim’s face mask before he starts repeatedly punching and kicking him. This was a totally unwarranted violent assault and we urgently need to speak to this man.”

The victim had boarded the number 149 bus in the area around Seven Sisters station and stood by the middle doors of the bus. The suspect boarded the bus at the next stop, at about 9.45pm on August 23.

"If anyone knows who he is or has any other information – or witnessed this offence – please call,” PC Bowman said.

The suspect is described as a black man aged approximately 23-25 years, tall and with an athletic/muscular build. He was wearing blue tracksuit bottoms, a white vest and white trainers.

Anyone with information should call detectives on 101 quoting ref CAD 7981/23Aug. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or tweet @MetCC with any information.

Updated: September 18, 2020 07:05 PM

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