Coronavirus: Two teenagers arrested over 'racially motivated attack' on London's Oxford Street

Joe GampContributor, Yahoo News UK
Yahoo News UK
Jonathan Mok, 23, was attacked on Oxford Street in London. (Facebook/Jonathan Mok)
Jonathan Mok, 23, was attacked on Oxford Street in London. (Facebook/Jonathan Mok)

Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of racially assaulting a Singaporean man following the coronavirus outbreak.

Jonathan Mok, 23, from Singapore, claimed he was set upon by a group of men and a woman as he walked along Oxford Street in central London on February 24.

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On Friday, the Metropolitan Police said two male suspects, aged 15 and 16, were held for alleged racially aggravated assault following the incident and have now been released under investigation.

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Meanwhile, the Met has released CCTV images of a further two males they wish to speak to in connection with the incident.

Police would like to identify and trace the males pictured after a student was attacked on Oxford Street on February 24. (Met Police)
Police would like to identify and trace the males pictured after a student was attacked on Oxford Street on February 24. (Met Police)

Officers were called to Oxford Street, near Tottenham Court Road station at around 9.15pm on Monday, February 24 to reports of a man being assaulted.

The 23-year-old victim says he was punched, kicked, and sustained facial injuries.

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Mr Mok wrote on Facebook that he was set upon by a group of men and a woman as he walked along the busy shopping street.

Police are seeking to speak to this man. (Met Police)
Police are seeking to speak to this man. (Met Police)

The Singaporean national, who has been studying in London for two years, said one of the group shouted “coronavirus” as they walked past him.

Mr Mok described how, as he turned to face the group, one of the men said: “Don’t you dare look at me”.

The student claims he was then punched more than once.

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“By then, a few passers-by had stopped and one of them tried to reason with them that four on one was not fair. The attacker’s friend tried to swing a kick at me as I was explaining to the passer-by that I hadn’t done anything at all.

“I tried to react in self-defence but couldn’t do anything substantial because I was still recovering from a broken finger in my master hand.

The attack took place in Oxford Street in central London.
The attack took place in Oxford Street in central London.

Detective Sergeant Emma Kirby, who is leading the case, said: “This attack left the victim shaken and hurt. There’s no room on our streets for this kind of violent behaviour and we are committed to finding the perpetrators.

“I am keen to speak to anyone who has information about this assault. I would like to identify and speak to the males pictured who may be able to help me with our enquiries.”

Enquiries continue. Witnesses are asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 7522/24FEB.

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