A Hallam student had fruit thrown at him during a corona-related attack

He described the racism as ‘plain ignorance’

An undergraduate student from Sheffield Hallam University was racially abused by someone who threw fruit at his car window last Wednesday.

Michael Chiu, 22, was driving to work at Bobo Tea around noon near Hallam city campus, when a man in his late 20s tried to overtake in his lane.

Michael prevented the dangerous driving by not letting the car pass, and was verbally abused as a result.

He told The Sheffield Tab: ‘’A lot of racism was involved – he started insulting me about the virus. He threatened to put me in the hospital and threw apples at my window.

“Because I ignored him it got even worse. I felt shocked.’’

The verbal abuse continued to the main roundabout in Sheffield Central, where Michael stopped a police car and told them about the incident.

The police spoke to the man, but Michael couldn’t stay at the scene as he was on his way to work.

Michael is not the first Sheffield student to be racially abused this year

Speaking to Sky News, Michael said: “I have grown up with racism my entire life but to have actual adult individuals using that kind of language, and using that kind of racism towards me… it was just extremely shocking.

“I was born in the UK and I have absolutely nothing to do with the pandemic – more importantly, the virus does not discriminate in any manner or form. It is just plain ignorance.”

Attacks against Chinese, Japanese and South-East Asian people are on the rise across the UK- police records show that in the first three months this year, 267 offences were recorded.

This is a threefold increase from previous years, with 375 offences in the whole of 2019 and 360 in 2018.

In January, another student from Sheffield University was verbally abused and nudged by three people in West Street as she was wearing a protective face mask.

To report hate crimes contact South Yorkshire Police at 101 or visit this website.