As the backlash against the U.K’s riots and looting began among Londoners yesterday, one young man was at the center of it all.
Sitting against a wall in East London Tuesday, bleeding from the mouth and in clear need of help, the young man was robbed from behind by a group of men as they pretended to help him. He had been on his way to buy food to break his Ramadan fast when he was attacked. His phone and cell phone were reportedly taken. And the entire audacious robbery was captured on video, and then shared on YouTube more than a million times.
But who was the man? And was he okay?
On Tuesday, initiatives began on Twitter to catch looters and robbers like the men in the video, with Londoners using the hashtag #catchalooter or communicating with the Twitter account @CatchaLooter to collaborate efforts.
While the robbers have not yet been found, the man has now been identified as 20-year-old Malaysian student Ashraf Haziq.
Haziq is being treated at the Royal London hospital, where he will get an operation for a broken jaw, according to the Malaysian Embassy. While Haziq’s mother said her son cannot talk, photos and a video of his recuperation progress have been posted online.
Hope you feel better and recover soon. Sorry you met the worst of the UK - hope you meet some of the best too #getwetllsoonashrafhaziq
Some 13,600 Malaysian students currently live in the U.K., according to the Guardian.
A statement on the Web site of the Malaysian high commission in London says: “All Malaysians living in or visiting the United Kingdom are advised to exercise maximum alert and vigilance while they are in public places, especially in areas affected by the riots.”