Student left battered and bleeding in brutal attack on way back from university
A shaken university student is warning others to be vigilant after hooded attackers left him injured along a narrow pathway in Colchester.
Robbers repeatedly punched the 22-year-old victim as he walked home from the University of Essex, stealing his wallet and leaving him bleeding on the ground.
Police are now hunting for two men in the wake of the attack, which happened between St Andrew’s Avenue and St Andrew’s Church in Forest Road at around 6.30pm on Tuesday.
Yet the student – who dialled 999 and was directed to A&E by the operator – feels the authorities are not doing enough, claiming police only got in touch the following morning pledging to call him soon.
“I cannot describe how I felt, I guess I was shocked as I was just walking home and listening to my music when one of them came towards me and grabbed me,” he said.
“In this sudden shock and panic, I tried to cover my face and get down on the ground.
“I got the wallet out from my bag and threw it further away from me. Another guy was just standing behind him watching if anyone is coming. Then they ran away with my wallet, and left me there bleeding.”
The shaken student decided to run home via a different path to avoid the attackers before calling police and ambulance crews immediately.
He was declared fit to walk by the call operator and told to go to A&E, where he was assessed and told his nose was not broken.
The 22-year-old claims police phoned him the following morning to say someone from the investigation team would be in touch “in a couple of days.”
“These guys are still out there,” he said.
“They can do this again, tonight, tomorrow, next week, to anyone. And the police will call me soon?
“I know austerity measures hit police forces and the NHS tremendously, but hello?”
He has since sent letters to various authorities including Essex Police voicing his concerns.
“No-one deserves to go through this,” he said.
“There is an urgent need for patrolling, more CCTV around certain areas – especially routes frequently used by students, and better lighting.
“I was lucky that those men did not carry a knife or left me there in the dark battered and knocked down. Please be vigilant.”
Essex Police confirmed they are investigating the incident, with the two men described as wearing tracksuits and hooded tops.
A spokesman said they assess calls they get based on threat, risk and harm posed to the public – adding their response can also be affected by what other incidents are ongoing at a particular time.
“In this particular case, all of our officers were unavailable as they were dealing with other incidents at the time of the call including reports of a man with a knife and a domestic related incident,” they added.
“Also, as the victim’s attackers had left the area and he had gone to a place of safety the risk of further harm against him had reduced.”
Witnesses to the attack and anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting reference 42/31811/19 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.