The slightly built 16-year-old fled in terror as he tried to escape from the 10-strong mob, who slashed him repeatedly across his neck and face when they finally trapped him. The youngster begged for help from passers-by seconds before the savage attack in Alum Rock Road, Alum Rock. Three of the gang, two armed with large machetes and a third with a wooden baton, caught up with the victim and rained down blows during the broad daylight attack at 5pm on Saturday. Eyewitnesses saw the boy being chased from Woodwell Road by a gang of at least 10 youths in their late teens, who hit him indiscriminately as he pleaded for mercy. It was only when shopworkers, neighbours and passers-by closed in on the gang that they fled towards the nearby park.
Interpreter Iftikhar Ahmed, who was cleaning his car when the attack unfolded, said: “The boy was only small and ran up to an old man in the street screaming ‘help me, help me please’. But then one of the gang with a machete leaped over and struck the boy in the head. He fell backwards and stumbled a few steps before falling to the ground. He was lying on the floor when another youth with a machete struck him straight across his forehead. I was rushing forward to help when he was dealt the second blow and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It made my body tremble. Blood was pouring out of him, it was terrible. The machetes were about 18 inches long, they were identical with massive shiny blades.”
Onlookers were surprised by the pack mentality shown by the armed gang.
“The youths attacking him had no fear,” said Mr Ahmed “They didn’t think twice about doing this attack in broad daylight, on a main road with people watching. The boy didn’t stand a chance.”
The victim suffered terrible wounds to his neck, back and face while the mob also came close to slicing off his ear. He was taken to Heartlands Hospital in a serious condition but had today improved to become “stable” and was expected to undergo surgery this afternoon.
Resident Naseem Ahmed, a father-of-two from Alum Rock Road, said: “My wife rushed out to help this poor boy with the woman from Muskaan Tailors Shop, and were wrapping scarves around his wounds to stop them bleeding. His ear was hanging off and there was a large gash down his neck. There was also a big cut across his face and a wound on his back. He could hardly speak. This was a big armed group of teenagers against one person. It was unbelievable. They hunted him down like an animal. There are gangs in Washwood Heath but it has never been on my doorstep before.”
"Help me, please". It does sound like Martin Dinnegan all over again.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: "A number of people were thought to be involved in the attack but details are unclear".