South Asian Man Brutally Attacked, Spit On By Group in UK
A 41-year-old man was brutally assaulted and robbed by a group of people in the English town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
The victim, identified in a GoFundMe campaign to aid him as Rajitkumar, was reportedly attacked at around 1 p.m. on Friday, May 8, as he was walking down an alleyway. The attack, which happened on Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), was captured on CCTV.
Footage taken during the attack showed the victim getting hit in the face, forced to the ground, kicked repeatedly and robbed of his mobile phone and cigarettes, reports the Yorkshire Police. While the police updates don’t indicate that the man was spit on, the footage appears to show that members of the group repeatedly spit on the man.
In relation to the incident, five men, aged 34, 28, 27, 25 and 19, and a 21-year-old woman, were apprehended on suspicion of robbery. They were all released shortly after.
On Wednesday, five of the six have been re-arrested on suspicion of robbery and are now in custody of the police. While the 28-year-old man remains under investigation, he has not been rearrested.
The South Yorkshire Police has warned the public against spreading the video as it may impede an ongoing investigation. Several Twitter accounts who posted the video have since been removed, though some mirrors still exist as of this writing.
On May 14, South Yorkshire Police released the names, ages, and living situation of all suspects and their charges. Four men were charged with robbery and must appear in court on Friday, May 15:
James Steven Upton, 25, of no fixed abode
Edward David Johnston, 27, of no fixed abode
Kieron Yates, 19, of no fixed abode
Ryan Edward Houlston, 34, formerly of Bank End Avenue, Barnsley
Additionally, the woman, Jodie Louise Heppenstall, 21, formerly of Princess Street, Barnsley, is being charged with robbery and common assault. She must also appear in court on Friday. There is no indication as of yet that the assault was racially motivated.
A GoFundMe with the goal of raising of £500 has been set for the victim by locals who were horrified by the attack. The campaign, set up by Steven O’Brien and Tim Milner, has raised over £3,500, or over $4,300.
“I’m overwhelmed with the response to this and so should all of you who has donated. I’m still trying to get into contact with the person who was mugged and I am communicating with a couple of people who know him and one has said he’s been made aware of this fundraiser,” O’Brien wrote on Wednesday.
On Thursday, an update on the campaign indicated that O’Brien successfully identified the victim and is now working on making sure the funds from the campaign reach him.
“I’ve spoke to Rajitkumar friend this morning and arranged to meet up with them this Saturday for a chat, to show our faces and arrange the best way for the money to get to him once it ends. I honestly can’t thank ever who is involved and kindly donated enough for their efforts, I never thought in a million years it’d reach this much. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart.”
NextShark has reached out to South Yorkshire Police for further comment.
NextShark has also reached out to Steven O’Brien for additional details.
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