‘I don’t want coronavirus in our country’: UCL student victim of racist attack in Oxford Street

Jonathan Mok was attacked by a group of men in a racially motivated incident

Jonathan Mok, 23, a Singaporean Student at UCL was attacked near Tottenham Court Road Station last monday by four men.

Mok described the incident in a now viral Facebook post, where he said that at around 9:15pm  a group of men started shouting about ‘Coronavirus.’ When he confronted the men they attacked him. One of the men tried to kick him reportedly said ‘I don’t want your Coronavirus in my country.’

He described his face as ‘exploding with blood’ and left him in A&E with fractures in his face, and may need to undergo reconstructive surgery to fix some of the bones.

He said: ‘Last Monday, at roughly 9.15pm on Oxford Street in London, I walked past a group of young men, when I saw one of them look at me (just as he walked past me) and said something to me, which I could make out the word ‘coronavirus’. I was stunned and turned around to have a look at the man made the statement. He was still staring at me as he walked past and realised I was looking at him. He shouted ‘Don’t you dare look at me, you ____’ (I could not catch the last word because of the accent).

Within 3 seconds, he was in my face, together with 3/4 other young men, and a young lady (all of whom seemed no older than 20 years old, but were all more than a head taller than me). I was shocked and angry because he directed a racist remark at me and had the audacity to shout at me like I had wronged him. All of a sudden, the first punch was swung at my face and took me by surprise. When I was still shocked by the first hit, the guy delivered the second sucker punch. By then, a few passers-by had stopped and one of them tried to reason with them that 4 on 1 was not fair. The attacker’s friend tried to swing a kick at me as I was explaining to the passer-by that I hadn’t done anything at all. I tried to react in self-defence but couldn’t do anything substantial because I was still recovering from a broken finger in my master hand.

The guy who tried to kick me then said, ‘I don’t want your coronavirus in my country’, before swinging another sucker punch at me, which resulted in my face exploding with blood (from my nose), where the blood was splattered all across the pavement. Still in daze and shock, the group left promptly from the scene before the police arrived. Following the incident, I followed up with a visit to the A&E and I was told that I had suffered a few fractures in my face and might need to undergo reconstructive surgery to fix some of the bones.

He states that since the outbreak of Coronavirus ‘racism is once again rearing its ugly head’ and is just an excuse for ‘further hatred for people different from them.’

The Met Police said they are treating the incident as ‘racially aggravated’ and have yet to arrest anyone.

The Tab UCL has recently reported on the increase in racist incidents in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.