"I no longer feel safe" - Honiton Indian restaurant owners punched and bitten after attackers invade premises
PUBLISHED: 09:52 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:41 15 July 2019
The owners of a newly opened Indian restaurant in Honiton say they no longer feel safe after attackers invaded their premises.
Joynul Islam said he asked a group of five men and one woman to move on from outside his New Street-based eatery on Saturday night (July 6) when the commotion kicked off.
Mr Islam was bitten on the middle finger after the group stormed the restaurant, and co-owner Koyes Uddin was left with a black eye after being punched in the face.
They said the group fled before police officers arrived at the scene.
Police are reviewing CCTV footage of the incident.
Mr Islam said the attackers smelt of alcohol and cigarette smoke and were standing outside his premises shortly before he was expecting diners to arrive.
He said: "After I asked them to move on and they refused, my colleague came out and asked them too.
"One man said: 'Where have you come from, you p***?' and then all of them started swearing at us and using racial slurs.
"Koyes came out and told us to come inside and call the police. As soon as we came back inside, the group pushed into the restaurant."
Mr Islam and Mr Uddin tried to force the intruders outside, but both received nasty injuries.
Mr Islam was taken to hospital after his finger caught the mouth of one of the men, who bit down on it, while Mr Udden was punched on the eye socket.
Passers-by tried to break up the scuffle, shortly after 5.30pm, but to no avail.
Mr Islam said: "Before the group left, the guy who bit me pulled down his trousers and pants in front of Koyes' four-year-old daughter and wife, who had come downstairs because of all the noise.
"Since then, his daughter has been so scared. I couldn't even take her outside today.
"Five minutes before the incident, I was telling a customer how nice Honiton was and how it is very friendly.
"Now I do not feel safe."
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Police are investigating circumstances around two counts of racial aggravated assaults through a disorder outside the Indian restaurant in New Street, Honiton, at around 6pm.
"Investigations continue and officers are reviewing CCTV.
"A man in his 40s was struck and suffered bruising to his eye."