Police are investigating a brutal acid attack near a London gay bar that have left three men with life-changing injuries Sunday night.
According to Scotland Yard, three men ages 17, 22, and 27 were sprayed by a noxious substance in Hackney around 5:20 am Sunday.
“This is a particularly vicious and unpleasant incident which has left a number of people with potentially lasting injuries,” said Detective Sergeant Quinn Cutler in a statement.
The Evening Standard reports that a witness, who asked not to be named, heard a commotion near the gay bar Dalston Superstore and saw two men jump out of a car and start beating people.
“They were punching at people walking either side of the road. One man was being kicked as he lay on the floor,” he told the Standard.
The men then reportedly took water bottles from the car and sprayed people with acid.
The attack took place just 300 feet from the bar, but Dalton Superstore said in social media posts that its customers were not specifically targeted.
“The three men had not visited our venue, and the attack happened long after we had closed,” the bar wrote. “There is no indication that this senseless and brutal attack was motivated by homophobia.”
In a follow-up comment on Facebook, the venue said police had confirmed that the people attacked hadn’t come from the bar.
Police believe that witnesses captured the attack on their mobile phones.
“I know that a number of people witnessed this incident and I urge those people to come forward and share their information and/or footage with police,” Cutler urged.
The assault is the first of two acid attacks reported by Scotland Yard in just a week. Police say a woman in her early twenties was the victim of a “suspected noxious substance” while a bus at 1:45 am this morning in Brixton, seven miles from the first attack.
Police say the woman in the Brixton assault appears to have been purposely targeted. She did not suffer life threatening or life-changing injuries. Police are searching for one female suspect in that attack.