The families of three teenagers who were targeted in a racially-motivated attack outside an East Ham public house are appealing for witnesses who saw the assault, reports the Newham Recorder this week.
Stephanie Villegas and Hollie Vincent, both aged sixteen years, were walking down the High Street South, a major road linking East Ham with Canning Town, with their cousin Rohan Reda (aged 17), when two older men began hurling racist abuse at them as they walked past the White Horse pub, opposite East Ham’s Central Park. The incident occurred at around 6 pm on Thursday 11th June.
The teenagers then claimed that the two men approached them, punched them, and then threw them to the floor in the unprovoked attack.
“It was disgusting. We had already walked past them once”
“A little while after, we walked past them again and that’s when it started. They were older men, at least in their forties” Hollie told a reporter from the Newham Recorder. Hollie’s cousin Rohan, who is of mixed heritage, was then subjected to a racial slur.
Hollie, who had recently graduated from her studies at local Brampton Manor Academy (formerly Brampton Manor School) recalled in the interview that the attack began when one of the men accused Rohan of ‘eyeballing’ him, meaning that the attacker thought that the 17-year-old was looking at him in a contemptuous way. The men then began following the three teens down High Street South and one is said to have thrown an apple at the teenagers as they tried to avoid a confrontation with the racists. Hollie then tried to confront the men over their behaviour.
“That is when we asked them to leave us alone, but he punched me in the face and I fell to the ground” Hollie narrated.
During the attack, the Newham Reporter also states that Stephanie’s hair was pulled, her phone was smashed and that the thugs also snatched a chain from around Rohan’s neck.
Hollie added “I’ve lived in this area my whole life but have never seen anything like it”
“The worst thing was people were actually standing there and watching, but finally two schoolboys came to help us”
“All three of us were assaulted. It was a racist attack against my cousin and I just don’t understand how two grown men assault two young girls”.
As of publishing date by the Newham Recorder, there have been no arrests made and police inquiries are still ongoing. Local police are appealing for witnesses to come forward in confidence.
Anyone with information about the East Ham incident should call police on 101 or alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name or any identifying details.