Army cadet attacked while selling poppies – Manchester city centre
November 2, 2014, 10:39 am
An Army Cadet suffered minor burns to his face after he was attacked just minutes after selling poppies for Remembrance Day.
It happened at about 6pm on Saturday 1 November 2014 as the 15-year-old boy was waiting at a bus stop next to the Manchester Gallery opposite George Street.
The teenager was wearing his camouflaged uniform having spent the day in the city centre selling poppies and collecting money to commemorate Remembrance Day.
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As he was looking down Princess Street for his bus, he was approached by a black man who, without warning or provocation, produced an aerosol can and a lighter which he used to spray lit fumes in the direction of the unsuspecting teenager.
Shocked at what had happened, the Cadet suffered minor reddening to his face and singed hairs on his face and right forearm.
Without saying a word, the offender walked off. He is described as being black or Asian, 5ft 8in tall and wearing a dark hooded top. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and was staggering.
Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward.
Detective Inspector Liam Boden said: “This is an absolutely appalling attack on a young man who was raising money to help remember all those who gave their lives fighting bravely for their country.
“At this stage of our inquiries, we’re keeping an open minded as to what motivated the offender to commit such an act.
“Given the initial description we have of the offender, it may be that he was under the influence of something but whatever his motivation, his violent actions could have scarred this young man for life. Although he has suffered some minor injuries, it is pure luck that he did not sustain more serious burns to his face and body.
“Understandably both he and his family are in a state of total shock and cannot believe someone would do this.
“We need to find whomever is responsible for this crime and I would therefore appeal to anyone who has information that could help. This happened at a very busy time in the city centre, near a main bus route, and there could be lots of people who saw this man staggering around.
“If you do have information then please come forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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