Police are hunting a “significantly injured” man who they believe left a girl and her mother with potentially life-changing injuries after they had a corrosive substance thrown on them in south London.
The Metropolitan Police has identified the suspected assailant as 35-year-old Abdul Ezedi and released an image of his last-known sighting, which places him on Caledonian Road in Islington, north London at 8.48pm on Thursday.
Officers received reports that a man pushed a three-year-old girl to the ground and threw an alkaline substance at her, her eight-year-old sister and the girls’ 31-year-old mother on Lessar Avenue, near Clapham Common, a residential area in south London, on Wednesday evening.
The woman and the three-year-old girl suffered potentially life-changing injuries, the Met said. Police said he was believed to be someone known to the victims, but they did not elaborate.
“While this appears to be a targetted attack, he is a dangerous individual and we urgently need to find him,” said superintendent Gabriel Cameron.
The last confirmed sighting of Abdul Ezedi was in Tesco on Caledonian Road, N1 at 8.48pm last night.
If you see Ezedi, call 999 immediately. He should NOT be approached.
If you have information as to his whereabouts call 0207 175
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) February 1, 2024We are now naming the man we want to speak in regards to the corrosive substance attack in Lambeth.
If you see Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, call 999 immediately. He should NOT be approached. pic.twitter.com/F7Ft57NIlW
— Lambeth Police | Central South BCU (@LambethMPS) February 1, 2024The BBC reported Ezedi was convicted of a sexual offence in 2018, and that it is also understood that he was granted asylum after two failed attempts.
Earlier, Cameron said the force was working in collaboration with Northumbria Police as Ezedi “could be going back” to Newcastle.
Police said the suspect fled on foot after he crashed into a stationary vehicle in his attempt to drive away from the scene.
Three members of the public who tried to help the family were treated for minor chemical burns. Five police officers also went to the hospital because of contact with the substance, but only the woman and her children remained hospitalized Thursday.
One witness, Shannon Christi, said she helped pull the three-year-old victim away from the scene after she saw a man throw the child on the ground. She also said she saw the mother saying, “I can’t see.”
“My skin started tingling as well, and my face started tingling,” Christi said. “It all happened so fast.”
Metropolitan Police chief Mark Rowley called the incident “ghastly” but added that attacks involving acids and chemicals were “exceedingly rare” in the British capital.
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