July 14 (UPI) — One person was arrested in connection with acid thrown at the faces of five people in a quick succession of separate attacks in London, the Metropolitan Police said.
Two people rode around London neighborhoods on a moped on Thursday evening, and in a 72-minute rampage tossed an unidentified acid at three pedestrians and two other moped riders.
The attacks occurred in northern London’s Clapton, Hackney, Islington and Stoke Newington neighborhoods. Police said the attacks were connected, that all of those injured were men and that the theft of mopeds may have been the motive behind some of the incidents.
One person sustained injuries described by police as life-changing — and in both cases involving another moped rider, a vehicle was stolen.
The attack in Hackney involved a delivery person. The BBC cited resident Jon Moody saying, “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.”
Moody added that more police, and about 20 delivery drivers, later arrived at the scene to help the man.
The unidentified suspect was questioned on suspicion of robbery and of causing grievous bodily harm.
Metropolitan Police statistics indicate there were 261 attacks in London in 2015, and 458 in 2016. There have been 119 thus far in 2017.
“I don’t want people to think this is happening all over London all the time. It really is not,” Commissioner Cressida Dick said. “But we are concerned because the numbers appear to be going up.”