THE victim of an unprovoked attack has spoken of his ordeal in a bid to raise awareness of gangs operating in Worthing.
On Saturday, August 17, the 24-year-old, who has asked not be named, was walking home from a night out with his 22-year-old girlfriend.
The couple were in South Street, Tarring, when they spotted a group of about 12 youths at the entrance of Tarring recreation ground.
He said: “The group of about 15 to 17 year olds was behaving aggressively so we tried to give them a wide berth and crossed the road to get as much distance as possible.
“We kept our heads to the ground as we walked past them, but unfortunately we were noticed and some rather derogatory remarks were made as well as some very unsavoury language. We thought we were clear of danger when further down the road we crossed back over but I felt a presence behind me.”
When the pair turned round, the male was punched in the face immediately.
He recalled: “I was taking lots of blows to the head from numerous individuals and was taken completely by surprise by the whole thing.
“I was punched around, knocked to the ground and head my head stamped on and kicked in a violent manner.”
Another passing couple called the police and an ambulance was sent.
First aid was given at the scene and the male was taken to Worthing Hospital where he spent the rest of the night.
He said: “I had several lacerations to my face, severe swelling around my eye sockets and a bloodied eyeball.
“There was also a hairline fracture to my cheekbone and bleeding behind my bone. I also had bruises to my torso so they were reasonably harsh injuries and I did lose some consciousness.
“My girlfriend was man-handled on her arm and she has finger-print mark bruises. She is still very shaken.
“I remember feeling very frightened as I felt completely helpless though self-preservation kicked in _ I was just trying to cover my head with my arms as much as possible.”
The electrician says that the attack has left him feeling vulnerable to the point that he does not want to go out.
He added: “This was such a large number of people, I just cannot believe that this sort of gang violence exists in Worthing.
“It is the nature of the act which is so surprising. I am a relatively young and fit lad and I have walked away pretty much unscathed, but they will end up killing someone with that kind of vicious assault.”
Police have been able to retrieve items from the scene, and the victim’s clothes have also been seized for DNA testing. Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 61 of August 17, or Crimestoppers.