WARNING: Some readers may find the images and footage below disturbing
Police have released shocking footage of a US student being attacked by a gang of Asians because he was "clearly not a local".
The CCTV clearly shows five Asian men set upon 22-year-old Francesco Hounye, who had only arrived in the UK three days earlier. After smashing a bottle into his face, they chased after him and continued their assault - kicking and punching him.
The attack happened at 12.40am on Commercial Road, East London, after Hounye was returning from a night out in Brick Lane on 17 June.
Hounye was taken to the Royal London Hospital with deep slash wounds to his head and around his right ear. He needed 23 stitches to his face and more stitches internally. He has suffered permanent scarring and a chipped tooth.
The student said he felt "very emotional" about the incident and would be scarred for life.
"As a result of this incident I am now scared to go out on my own in London. I am a visitor to the UK and was considering continuing my studies here but this incident has made me think twice.
"I feel very emotional about the whole situation. I also now face the rest of my life with the permanent scarring that will be left on my face as a result of this attack. Every time I look in the mirror from now on I will be reminded of this incident."
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Ben Mott, said: "We believe the suspects picked a fight with the victim as he was obviously not from the local area and they took exception to the fact that he was a bit different. The victim has an Italian accent, his own style of dress and mannerisms and, when challenged by the Asian males, answered them back.
"They retaliated by grabbing the bottle and launching a vicious attack that has left him scarred for life. He had come to the UK to enhance his studies and has been left so shocked and horrified by what happened that he feels unsafe and is unsure if he wants to stay here.
"The CCTV footage is exceptionally clear and I believe the suspects to be local. I would ask people to please look closely at the faces of the attackers and help us identify them. I am positive someone would know who they are from looking at the footage."
The suspects are described as Asian and aged in their late teens to early 20s. They are possibly Bengali.
The man who used the bottle was wearing a red and white striped short-sleeved top with black trousers, white trainers and a large watch.
Anyone who can help is asked to contact Tower Hamlets CID on 020 7275 4546 or if you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more