Police have today released a video of a shocking attack on a pensioner after he stood up to a racists shouting about England’s players following their European football championship final defeat last month.
The 79-year-old was knocked to the ground and hit his head during the incident, which happened at an Italian restaurant in Bingham.
He had gone into the premises to congratulate the owner, who he knew, on Italy’s winning result in the tournament when another customer started shouting obscene racist remarks about the three English footballers – who were all black players – that had missed penalties during the game.
The victim challenged the offender and said he was being racist and the man went outside.
Having received his takeaway order, the elderly man then went out to get in his car and came across the man who was still shouting racist comments outside.
The next thing he knew, he was being crushed by the car door as he tried to get in, and as he went to stand up, he was punched to the side of the head which knocked him to the ground, banging his head on the pavement.
The victim said the offender’s behaviour was disgraceful: “I couldn’t believe the extent of the verbal abuse that I was hearing, just complete mindless and obscene racism. It was very offensive towards black people and completely uncalled for. There is no place for this behaviour in football and I can’t understand where he was coming from.”
After being attacked, he was left lying on the pavement feeling dazed having suffered a nasty cut to his head which was bleeding heavily. Lots of passers-by came to his aid while the offender ran off.
The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Everyone was extremely shocked and rallied around me. The police came and were outraged by what had happened, they were very sympathetic and have been very supportive whilst they tried to track down the offender.
He attended hospital a couple of days after the incident due to the size of the lump to his head, where he underwent a scan but there were no fractures.
“I’ve done my best not to let the ordeal affect me,” he added. “I was shaken up afterwards but since then I’ve just got on with my life. I would just like to see the offender held to account for his actions and would like to tell him what a racist coward he is.”
The video released today shows a man who police want to speak to in connection with the incident, which happened at around 8.45pm on Monday 12 July.
The man in the video is described as white, of a large build and believed to be in his late 50s/early 60s. He had short white/grey cropped hair and was wearing a short-sleeved, khaki shirt, blue jeans and trainers with a white sole. He was also wearing a medical face mask covering his chin.
Neighbourhood Inspector Rob Lawton said: “This was a disgraceful act of racism and violence and there is no place for this behaviour in our society.
“The victim is a pillar of the local community and has acted with bravery and the utmost integrity in challenging this man.
“Thankfully his disgraceful views are in the minority and we, like the communities we serve, are committed to tackling this behaviour and putting a stop to racism.
“My teams have been carrying out lots of enquiries since this incident happened and everyone has been outraged by this unprovoked attack. We are now asking people to help us track down the man in this video, if you recognise him please get in touch.”
If anyone recognises the man in this video, they are asked to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 quoting incident 890 of 12 July.
Alternatively, people can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.