The brother of a man who might need plates inserted into his face after a serious assault has appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Furhaan Altaf (26) is hoping that shoppers at Serpentine Green yesterday afternoon (Monday, June 5) saw the attack on his brother Suleman between 4.45pm and 5pm in the shopping centre’s car park.
Trainee quantity surveyor Suleman (23) had returned to his dark blue Volkswagen Golf after phone shopping when he was assaulted, leaving him bruised, swollen and with three fractures in his face.
Furhaan, who lives with his brother in West Town, believes that the attack was Islamophobic. Police have confirmed that they are investigating whether it was a racially aggravated assault.
Describing the incident, as told to him by his brother, who is now out of hospital, he told the Peterborough Telegraph: “He was out in Serpentine Green shopping. When he returned a child threw a drink at his car.
“He asked the child why he did that and was attacked from behind. The first punch was to the cheekbone that knocked him out.
“There were three or four men who attacked him and he’s been left with three facial fractures which will possibly require surgery.
“I would imagine there were a lot of people at Serpentine Green and we are hoping for someone to come forward.”
Suleman managed to get himself home, but when he stepped in through the front door “he was talking a lot of gibberish,” said Furhaan, adding: “We saw the bruising and swelling.
“We asked him what happened but he was not making much sense at all. We took him straight to A&E where he stabilised a little and was able to tell us what happened.
“He’s been very quiet since. He’s usually a very bubbly character. It’s unlike him to be quiet. He’s almost reflective.”
Furhaan, a senior therapeutic radiographer at Peterborough City Hospital, said: “It’s absolutely a hate crime. My brother was targeted. He has a long beard and he was alone.
“I do think that this was fuelled by recent terrorist attacks in England. There definitely has been a change in opinion since then. There’s been a lot more suspicion.
However, Furhaan said his home city has been very tolerant, He stated: “In Peterborough we are very fortunate. We have a beautiful, diverse city and thankfully incidents like this are rare. The support we have received from the general public since this incident took place has been overwhelming.”
Police would like to appeal to any witnesses who were in the car park at around 5pm yesterday to contact police with information by calling 101 and quoting incident 483 of June 5.