Newly engaged man speaks out after being sprayed with noxious chemicals in South Woodford
PUBLISHED: 11:28 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:05 20 September 2017
A man who sustained eye damage after being rear-ended and sprayed with a noxious chemical in South Woodford, wants to warn residents about possible attacks.
The victim, who does not wish to be named, is speaking publically for the first time since the horrific attack on August 31.
The man, who is in his 20s and newly engaged, was driving along Hermon Hill when someone crashed into him.
After pulling in to assess damage to his car and swap insurance details, the driver and a passenger walked towards him.
“Something was not right and I took the keys from my ignition and stood some meters away,” he said in a statement sent to the Recorder.
“It was dark and I couldn’t see clearly which is why I didn’t notice the second passenger carrying a bottle in his hand.
“Before I knew it he lunged at me and sprayed me with the liquid.”
The victim ran from the scene with liquid on his face, thinking that the incident was a “random malicious attack”.
However the suspect continued to chase him and said he wanted the keys to his car.
“He said ‘I’m going to make you drink it’ and that is when I decided to fight back,” he said.
“I was panicking, full of adrenaline and couldn’t see with one eye.
“He pulled me from behind and floored me but I managed to grab him too and took him down with me, wounding my arm and knees severely.”
He managed to flag a police car down, but the suspects ran off.
A “very kind” shop keeper helped the victim wash the chemical – which the police believe was ammonia, not acid – from his face with water.
“I could have completely lost my sight that day which would have turned my world upside down,” he said.
“London doesn’t feel as safe as it always has, but nonetheless I won’t change my vehicle – this matter will only make me stronger and more aware of my surroundings.
“I worry that these boys will hurt someone else because they were not caught and I’m worried for my family and friends and have asked them to be cautious when driving.”
The victim’s fiancée said the incident was one of the most horrible moments of her life, and warned readers of attacks with acid and other chemicals.
“It’s been difficult at times as one minute we were celebrating our engagement and the next I could have lost him,” she said.
“You hear of this in the news but for it to happen in your neighbourhood is a thought difficult to comprehend.
“It’s horrible to know that some individuals can stoop so low to ruin and damage people’s lives.
“It’s a duty to let others know so precautions can be taken and these horrible people can’t succeed.”
A Met spokesman said police are investigating an incident that took place in Alexandra Road, South Woodford.
“A man in his late 20s was involved in a road traffic collision around 9.20pm and then was apparently sprayed with a noxious substance.
“He was taken to an east London hospital but his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
“The suspects made off in a vehicle. Inquiries continue.”
Anyone with information should call 101.