Brutal antisemitic attack on elderly man at Highbury Corner in broad daylight
PUBLISHED: 16:35 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:52 27 February 2019
A racist thug launched a savage antisemitic attack on a defenceless elderly man at Highbury Corner.
One horrified bystander told the Gazette she tried to stop the attack, while another witness ran into the road and flagged down police officers at about 2.15pm. The man with a walking stick, said to be in his 70s, was set upon by a shaven-headed attacker who continued to punch him in the face as he lay bleeding on the floor at Highbury Corner.
A second witness said the man told her afterwards his assailant had asked if he was Jewish before laying into him.
The attacker, said to be of “strong build” and aged in his 30s, was last seen running away from the scene at speed. Police are investigating.
Marian Kennedy said the attack against the man, who was wearing a checked shirt and overcoat, was totally unprovoked. She was still shaking two hours later.
She told the Gazette: “He was punching him violently and right in the face with a closed fist.
“The older gentleman was utterly defenceless. He was being hit really hard and my instinct was jump between them but there was so much rage and violence.
“There was nothing I could do. The older man was not retaliating at all. He was just standing there as the guy repeatedly swung.”
Marian says she started calling out for the attacker to stop, at which point he pivoted around and claimed the old man had hit him with the stick.
She doesn’t believe this was the case.
“The old man wasn’t aggressive,” she said. “He was just taking the blows. He kept going: ‘Please stop’.
“Blood was pouring from the old man’s mouth and his body must have taken a lot of blows. The attacker ran off very fast. He was manic.
“The older man said he’d never seen him before. It was a random attack.”
She said the victim told her he was a former boxer, so could take the punches, but that his body was “too old to defend itself”.
Brittany Russell was at the scene when the police arrived and told the Gazette it was “definitely a hate crime”.
She said: “The old man told us that he was standing there to catch his breath when the man came up to him and was asking if he was Jewish.
“Following that the man started to hit him and that’s when I was walking past with my mum.
“My mum and I, along with three others stood with the victim, when another lady ran onto the road to alert a police van nearby.”
A Met Police spokesperson said: “Officers are investigating reports of a racially aggravated public order offence. A report was received by police at 2.12pm today. The incident is believed to have taken place in Highbury Fields, N5. Enquiries are ongoing.”