'I thought I was going to die': Masked man attacks car with 'baton' while driver cowers inside
PUBLISHED: 08:47 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:13 05 August 2019
A driver in a parked car desperately fumbled for the ignition as a masked man smashed a "baton" repeatedly against the windows.
The victim, who has requested anonymity for fear of reprisals, was sitting in the vehicle in Rufford Street when a hooded figure clutching the weapon approached. It was 12.20am on June 11.
"He was just going for it with vicious blows," the victim told the Gazette. "I thought I was going to die. It was about four blows and on the fifth [the baton] came right through the window.
"I didn't know the [windows] would be so strong to be honest. They were really hard blows, so I don't know if it's god's grace but the tint protected me.
"I don't know what he was on, or if he misidentified. It was petrifying. It's only a small car." The victim managed to start the car and get away. The assailant is yet to be caught.
There is CCTV in Rufford Street but police told the victim it didn't pick up the number plate of the attacker's getaway car, described as a black or navy smart car which also had tinted windows.
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But officers shared grainy CCTV stills with the victim, showing a hooded man in a cream or white coat with blue jeans and white trainers approaching the victim's vehicle, which is black and white and also a smart car.
The Met Police confirmed to the Gazette it had investigated reports of criminal damage in relation to the incident.
The victim claims antisocial behaviour and crime in Rufford Street has worsened in recent years - and they're challenging the authorities to do something about it.
The attack happened outside a block of flats run by Clarion, where the gate to the car park has allegedly been broken for years, despite complaints from neighbours that this poses a security risk.
The victim also claims they regularly find knives stashed near the building's communal bins.
A Clarion spokesperson said: "We take crime and anti-social behaviour extremely seriously and work closely with the police to address problems and support the community.
"We have carried out a number of repairs to the gate at this property and have met our duty of care to residents."