The video has become synonymous with London’s riots: A young man, bleeding and dazed, is helped from the ground by a group of youths — who promptly unzip his backpack and callously make off with its contents.
But who is he? And what happened next?
The young man is 20-year-old Malaysian accounting student Mohammad Asyraf Haziq, who was cycling with a friend in east London on Monday to a gathering to break his fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to a friend, Dzuhair Hanafiah.
The details of his trip are as chilling as the video.
First, a group of about 20 teens and preteens surrounded him. Then they grabbed his bike, took his cell phone and broke his jaw, Hanafiah said on Wednesday.
“The next thing he remembered, his mouth was full of blood,” said Hanafiah, a member of the London Umno club, a society for Malaysian students. “He was just left there.”
The video of the attack on Haziq went viral on Tuesday and has become one of the most memorable scenes from four days of unrest. So shocking was the robbing of an injured man that British Prime Minister David Cameron felt moved to describe it as a sign of a deeper societal malaise in Britain.
“There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but frankly sick,” Cameron told reporters in somber statement on Wednesday. “When we see children as young as 12 and 13 looting and laughing, when we see the disgusting sight of an injured young man with people pretending to help him while they are robbing him, it is clear that there are things that are badly wrong with our society.”
Hanafiah said Haziq was helped by a local woman who brought him into her home. Using Facebook, she was able to help him contact a friend and helped him until he could get to the hospital.
“His face is swollen, but he’s all right,” Hanafiah said. “He’s in good spirits.”
Although he has a broken jaw and is unable to talk, Haziq has made it clear he wants to remain in Britain and continue his studies here, Hanafiah said. Not only that, he insists he wants to remain in Barking, the same area where the attack occurred, ignoring offers to move to parts of London less affected by the rioting.
“He says, ‘No, I still love Barking ... what happened has happened,’” Hanafiah said.