Early in the morning on Sunday, May 6, two men attacked patrons leaving a popular East London gay nightclub. They reportedly jumped out of their car and began beating people, then took bottles of acid from their car and began dousing people with it. Despite happening at a gay bar, Scotland Yard is not treating the Dalston Superstore acid attack as homophobic violence.
According to the Evening Standard, three young men were injured in the acid attack as they left the Dalston Superstore. The Superstore has been described as a “gay party haven” and “a great place to make new mates.” The three men — aged 17, 22 and 27 — received injuries that police said were not life-threatening. But it’s not yet known whether the injuries will be life-changing.
A witness described being woken up by the noise around 5 a.m.; he looked out his window and saw a car stop in the middle of the road. Two men leapt out from the car and started beating people. The witness says, “They were punching at people walking either side of the road. One man was being kicked as he lay on the floor. The people were terrified, they weren’t fighting back.”
Next, the attackers when back to their car to grab water bottles to squirt passersby. But it wasn’t water in the bottles — it was acid. The witness says, “People were screaming in pain and running. I heard one person shouting he couldn’t see and saying ‘It’s in my eyes.'” One of the attackers then reportedly shattered a glass bottle on the ground before they got back into their car and fled.
Scotland Yard says it’s not currently treating the incident as a homophobic attack. Though it’s are investigating, no arrests have been made. We do know, however, the day after the Dalston Superstore acid attack, at approximately 5:20 a.m. on Monday, three young men in Hackney, another part of East London, were also attacked with a “noxious substance.”
Coincidentally, the three Hackney men who were attacked share the same ages as the three men attacked in Dalston. In this case, though, the injuries were sadly confirmed to be “life-changing.” Scotland Yard is not yet sure whether the two attacks are related.
Featured image courtesy of the Evening Standard