Here’s what happened
A 16-year-old and a 15-year-old boy have been arrested on the suspicion of grievous bodily harm and robbery after they went on a rampage across East London Thursday night, they doused five people with acid to steal their mopeds.
The rampage lasted for approximately 90 minutes and have allegedly stolen two mopeds, the fourth victim is believed to have suffered life changing injuries, the police said.
Witnesses described how the attacks happened and said that the pillion rider would jump off the moped spray acid onto the unsuspecting victim and then would ride off with their bike at speed.
This video shows a victim being doused with gallons of water in an attempt to remove the acid from his face, eyes and his body.
— Anthony (@RealNangerz) July 14, 2017
The attacks took place in Stoke Newington, Hackney and Islington and took place between 10:25 and 11:37pm, it is believed that all the attacks are linked and only happened to food delivery drivers.
A Hackney resident said: “I heard a high-pitched scream but thought it was the boys playing football… I heard more shouting and ran to my window.
“I could see a man in serious distress, he was screaming in pain.
“There were only two police officers with the victim, they took out two large water canisters and poured it over him.”
— Jon (@moodiman) July 14, 2017
A local worker said: “I got a call from a friend of mine saying there was an attack. I came running down the road and I saw a gentleman leaning on the wall with a cloth over his face.
“He was screaming in agony. There were people shouting and swearing. He was in a lot of pain.”
He added: “I could not see his face as he was holding the cloth and he was in a lot of pain. There were lots of people around him.
“People said he was attacked. I thought he must have been attacked with a knife or something but I saw the cloth and there were lots of people around him, so I didn’t actually approach him.
“I realised there was no blood so I thought there must have been another acid attack.”
Sarah Cobbold who was a witness said on Twitter:“Police and ambulances on Hackney/Queensbridge Road, possible acid/petrol attack. Lots of @UberEATS @Deliveroo drivers rallied round.”
— Sarah Cobbold (@sarah_cobbold) July 13, 2017
The Metropolitan Police commissioner, Cressida Dick said to LBC on Thursday night these attacks are “completely barbaric.”
“I don’t want people to think this is happening all over London all the time, it is really not, but we are concerned because the numbers appear to be going up.
“We will arrest people, we will enforce the law as we can, and we are working very closely with the Home Office to try to see if there is any changes in the law required.”
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Inquiries are ongoing and officers from Hackney CID are investigating.
“All five incidents are being treated as linked at this time.
“A male, in his teens has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and robbery. He is currently in custody at an east London police station.
“Enquiries are ongoing and officers from Hackney CID are investigating.”
Any witnesses, or anyone with information or in possession of footage of these incidents should contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC. To remain anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.