'My baby, my baby!': Devastated mother reacts as thugs sprayed acid on her three-year-old son; suspects arrested
The toddler in question suffered serious burns as a result of the attack while he was still sitting in his stroller at a Home Bargains shop in Worcester.
A mother in Worcester, UK, went through a traumatic experience when three thugs threw acid at her 3-year-old son's face and she could be heard screaming: "What have they done to my baby?" The toddler in question suffered serious burns as a result of the attack while he was still sitting in his stroller at a shop. The acid was thrown or sprayed over the child while he had gone out with his family. The authorities believe that this is a targeted attack. A witness who was at the scene said that the toddler's mother was holding her head in her hands as she sat sobbing outside a shop in Worcester. The 3-year-old was then taken to a hospital to be treated for the burns that he received on his face and arms before he was discharged on July 22 afternoon. The long-term effects of the burns, however, are still not known.
The police had issued a public appeal on July 22 and released CCTV images of the three men who were seen around the child and his family at the time of the attack, the Daily Mail reported. Many residents of the cathedral city were left shocked as their city was known for its exceptionally low crime rate. They banded together and condemned the attack on the toddler as "absolutely pure evil". The men, aged 22, 25 and 26, were arrested in London on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, reports BBC.
Witnesses who were at the scene of the attack described to the media the grief of the mother. They said: "There was a bit of shouting and screaming in the store but then it all went quiet. But then this woman ran outside and started screaming that her baby had been hurt and needed help. The mother was sitting outside the shop, screaming: 'My baby, my baby, what have they done to my baby?' She was in a flood of tears and people from the shop were telling her they had called an ambulance and her child would be well looked after."
The vicious attack took place at a Home Bargains store in a retail park that is located in the Tallow Hill area of Worcester on July 22 afternoon. One of the shoppers at the store, Rachel Bryant, told the publication: "When I heard about the acid attack I couldn't believe it. It's horrendous to think something like this could happen to a little boy in the middle of a shop."
Investigators on the case have not yet ruled out race as the motivation for the attack but they have said that it is not believed to be linked to a march that involved the far-Right English Defense League that happened on the same day in Worcester. Jabba Riaz, the Mayor of Worcester, said that there was definitely no connection between the two incidents.
The investigation that was launched after the attack was able to produce some results with a 39-year-old man from Wolverhampton being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. He is still in police custody as of now. The authorities had also appealed to the public by releasing images of the three men who were captured on CCTV cameras. The men can be seen wearing casual clothing and sunglasses.
It was claimed last night that one of the men in the pictures was spotted in the car park of a pub smoking marijuana just before the attack. Mark Travis, the Chief Superintendent of the West Mercia Police, said that the toddler, who is believed to be from Worcester, is currently recovering at home with his family. He mentioned, however, that the long-term effects of the injuries sustained by the toddler are unknown.
Travis said: "Clearly we are working with the family to understand the motive of the attack. The child was with family members and was being well looked after and remained with family all the way through to the hospital. At this time we are treating this as a deliberate attack on a three-year-old boy. At the moment we are really trying to understand the motive so, consequently, the three men in the images we released, we would really like to speak to them. They were seen near the child at around the time of the incident and left the store shortly afterward. We believe they may have information that may help us to understand what took place."
Chief Superintendent Kevin Purcell ignited the topic again by tweeting: "Really nasty crime this. These men are very distinctive. They clearly from behavior know each other well. If you know them please let us know." One of the shoppers said: "I heard from someone who works at the shop that the man [who attacked the boy] was a skinny white guy. He was about 5ft 11ins and he ran out of the shop."
The Worcester City Council leader, Marc Bayliss, said that the attack was "absolutely pure evil". He said: "I have never heard of an acid attack in Worcester so this is absolutely not something we have any experience of. If anything knows anything about this I would urge them to come forward. Think if this was a member of your family, an innocent child." The MP for Worcester, Robin Walker, said that the attack was "horrific".
He then added: "The shock will be universal, anyone conducting such an attack on a small child is just appalling. It's an issue which rightly there has been a lot of concern in Parliament and a move to toughen sentences for any kind of acid attack." A spokesperson for Home Bargains said in a statement: "Our thoughts are with this young child and his family at this very difficult time."
Worcester as a city is known for its low rate of crime and was named the safest city in England in 2016.