Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Row over face mask sees man knocked out with single punch at busy train station

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A man was caught on video being knocked out by another passenger in a heated row about face masks at Clapham Junction station, south London.

William, not his real name, was punched by another passenger at a ticket barrier and was treated at hospital for a severe cut and stitches for a head wound on August 16.

Along with a pal, William had been arguing with South Western Railway staff because a staff member – who was later said to be medically exempt – was not wearing a face mask.

In a clip, recorded by William's friend, a man in a light grey GAP hoodie pushes a pram near where the argument is happening.

The man is also not wearing a face mask.

William says "you’re not wearing one either" – which he later claimed was not directed at the man.

"Don’t f***ing start on me," the man mutters, walking away from his pram and delivering a swift jab to William's head.

The force of the punch knocks William to the floor unconscious and he bleeds on the ground while his attacker goes back to his child and hastily departs on foot.

A member of rail staff says: "I told you both to go, didn’t I?"

Recalling the incident after recovering, William said: "My friend asked one of the station staff a totally reasonable and polite question 'are you exempt from wearing a mask'.

"She’d snapped back saying 'none of your business'".

William said he "lost my temper a bit" and it "escalated into a row with other station staff".

He described his attacker as "some random person who was walking without a face covering" who had assumed that William's argument was directed at him.

In the video, staff do not pursue the man but say they have called emergency services.

South Western Railway said the member of staff who was not wearing a mask had a medical exemption.

It said the assault was an altercation between members of the public and staff had assisted with first aid and alerted the police.

A spokeswoman for South Western Railway, said: "Our staff reported this incident to the British Transport Police who are now investigating this.

"We will cooperate in this investigation fully, but as it is ongoing it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."

A spokeswoman for British Transport Police told Daily Star Online: "Officers were called to Clapham Junction station at 8.38pm on 16 August following reports of an assault.

"The victim was punched in the face by another man at the barrier line, who then left the station.

"Enquiries into the incident are currently ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 433 of 16/08/20."

  • Face Masks
  • Crime

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