Spike in vigilante attacks on Asians over coronavirus, warns cops – with knife gang targeting man walking home

Spike in vigilante attacks on Asians over coronavirus, warns cops – with knife gang targeting man walking home

COPS have warned of a spike in racist attacks on Asians over the coronavirus outbreak – with the latest victim targeted by knife-wielding thugs.

A spate of violence has swept across the UK as the number of Brits with the deadly disease continues to rise.

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Exeter Police said today they had seen a surge in racist attacks linked to coronavirus since the deadly disease spread across the world from Wuhan in China.

They were forced to send out a warning after six separate incidents involving Asian residents of Exeter being subjected to coronavirus-related abuse.

Three of the attacks took place over the space of just 24 hours and are being treated as hate crimes.

In the latest horror, a 19-year-old Chinese university student was threatened with a knife at spat at by four thugs yelling: "Go back to your own country".


Nicholas Lau was also punched and kicked and had his baseball cap stolen during the violence on Wednesday at around 8.20pm.

Writing about the attack on Facebook, he said: "I was jumped by four white males (one with a knife) on Castle street outside TP at around 8:30pm last night. I was punched, kicked, spat at and worse of all racially abused.

"I’m writing this to bring light to the racism that’s been increasingly present due to the Coronavirus, as this was also commented on by those who attacked me.

"To the ethnic minorities, and apparently boys with curtains, to everyone really, please be more cautious at night, and never be on your own. Also, when you see someone being abused in any way please help or get help.

"Shoutout to the 30 or so girls at the top of the street who looked like they had a fun social, saw it happen and did nothing, then told me to go away when I tried to ask for help.
"There is no place for racism, violence or any sort of abuse. Stay safe Exeter, peace x."

Cops' warning after spate of attacks in Exeter

February 16: Attack on Asian taxi driver by two male passengers at around 12.30am on New North Road. The 35-year-old victim was taunted with questions about where he was from and whether he had coronavirus before being punched and kicked.

March 2:  A group of around five or six men started taunting a Chinese man outside Pure Gym on Fore Street accusing him of being a “foreigner” and a “goronavirus carrier” who should “go back”.

March 4: A 19-year-old Chinese university student was approached by four white men on Castle Street, who told him: "Go back to your own country – you must have Coronavirus”. They then punched, kicked and spat at the teenager.

March 5: Driver in a car on New North Road shouts "corona" at a Chinese man at around 4pm.

March 6: Gang shouts at two Asian men at around 2.45am on Sidwell Street accusing them of having coronavirus. One of the victims is then punched.

Devon and Cornwall Police are also investigating after two Asian men were punched by yobs accusing them of having coronavirus in the early hours of the morning.

Another attack in the area saw an Asian taxi driver taunted with questions about where he was from and whether he had coronavirus before being punched and kicked.

Investigating officer, Sergeant Emma Storey-Barrett, said: “Targeted verbal and physical abuse is not to be tolerated and we are incredibly disappointed by the actions of the few in our community which are totally unjustifiable.

“We have also received reports of lower-level verbal abuse aimed at Asian people.

“We appreciate the support of the community and would urge people to report similar crimes to us and for any witnesses of these incidents, or anyone who thinks they have any information which could help our enquiries, to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Devon and Cornwall Police on 101.

Elsewhere in the UK, Jonathan Mok, who has an English dad and Chinese mum, was targeted by a gang of yobs as he walked through Oxford Street.

UCL student Jonathan, who has lived in London for around two years, had bravely stood up to the louts after they shouted "I don't want your coronavirus in my country" at him.

But he claimed his blood "exploded" on the pavement after they launched into a brutal attack.

Jonathan also added photos of his battered and bruised face as he revealed he may need reconstructive surgery.

Police confirmed today they had arrested two boys aged 15 and 16 on suspicion of racially aggravated assault.

Last week, a woman was knocked unconscious while defending her Chinese friend from a 'coronavirus rage' attack in Birmingham.

Meera Solanki was out celebrating her 29th birthday when racist thugs shouted at Mandy Huang: "Take your f***ing coronavirus back home."


It was reported last month that businesses are refusing to serve customers with Chinese heritage, while Twitter and Facebook have been inundated with hate speech and racist memes.

Some Asians living in the UK have even been pelted with eggs, while the Manchester Chinese Centre even received reports of racists targeting kids.

The University of York, which has around 2,000 Chinese students, was even forced to send out a statement calling for respect after racist comments were posted an anonymous confessions page.

And last month it emerged a number of university students and school kids were abused in Portsmouth and Southampton in just four days.

One person had a stone thrown at him and another was called a "virus".

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson said: "A small number of incidents linked to speculation about coronavirus have been reported to us in Southampton and Portsmouth.

"Any crime perpetuated through ignorance, prejudice or hate is unacceptable.

"We are working with our partners and the local Chinese communities and we would encourage everyone to report incidents to us either by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency."


Since the outbreak in ground zero Wuhan, there have been more than 3,408 deaths globally and more than 100,000 cases.

A man aged in his 80s is feared to have become the second person to die from the disease in the UK today.

Patients at on his ward at Milton Keynes Hospital have been placed isolation but NHS bosses have yet to confirm the patient was suffering from coronavirus.

Yesterday, a 75-year-old British woman became the first patient to die in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.

Health chiefs said the woman had been suffering underlying health conditions and was 'in and out of hospital' before passing away at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

The disease is now accelerating at its fastest rate yet across the UK as 163 Brits have now been infected.

The Department of Health confirmed a total of 47 people have tested positive for coronavirus across Britain in the last 24 hours.

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