'I don't feel safe anymore': Victim appeals for witnesses after alleged attack by schoolboy in Plaistow
PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 December 2019
A man has appealed for witnesses after an alleged attack by a schoolboy left him with four broken ribs.
The NHS worker, who asked not to be named, said he was walking past a betting shop in Plaistow High Street when a teenager - who was in a group of about 20 - smacked into him after being pushed by another at about 4pm on November 28.
The 59-year old banged into the store window before challenging the youngster, asking him why he did it, saying: "You're going to school to get an education."
He carried on past the boys, turning into Swete Street where he was allegedly attacked from behind.
"I think it was a kick to my ankle. I fell down heavily. I'm lucky I didn't hit my head," he said.
From the pavement, he caught a glimpse of his alleged attacker, identified as coming from the group encountered moments earlier.
On his knees in the rain, he screamed in pain. A passerby called an ambulance.
Two women came to his aid, but then a boy approached him.
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"I looked at him and said, 'You know who they are'. Within seconds he left," the victim said.
The man was taken to A&E, but his broken ribs went unidentified until days later. He is now taking anti-inflammatories, can't sleep and is seeing Victim Support.
"This has been really damaging, psychologically and physically. It felt as if someone had chopped my legs off. I don't feel safe anymore," he said.
Nothing was stolen, which made the man believe the alleged attack was a show of strength in front of peers.
"I wasn't rude. I just reacted. They do what they like, when they like and how they like. This is how it is," he said of the youngsters.
But he fears his alleged attacker will get away with it, urging witnesses or anyone with information to contact police.
"There's got to be some justice," he said.
The man, now off work on half pay, described his assailant as a black male, about 5ft 8in, in his mid-teens and wearing school uniform.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: "Enquiries are continuing. No arrests have been made yet."
Anyone with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.