Sussex student bottled in the face in racial attack on North Street
When asked why they threw the bottle, the attackers responded: ‘Because you are fucking Asian’
At approximately 10pm on 15 October, South Korean student Yehsung Kim was coming home from a South Korean Society night out when a man smashed a glass bottle on his face near his student accommodation on North Street, Brighton.
Kim, who is a South Korean exchange student studying International Relations at the University of Sussex, was passing the Japanese restaurant Oki-Nami when he saw two men arguing with the staff inside. Reportedly Kim was hit by a bottle as he was walking past but decided to ignore their provocation before the two men then began shouting racial slurs towards Kim.
Speaking to The Tab, Kim said they tried to provoke a reaction from him: "I was really angry but I knew that I'm a foreigner here and I could be kicked out of the country, I want to keep studying here. I tried to escape but they blocked my way and kept on making the noises."
Kim then addressed the young men and asked them to leave, before being hit in the mouth with a champagne bottle; on a statement left on Facebook the victim's friend Minsu Jo stated "My friend asked him why he has thrown the bottle him and then he answered 'Because you are fucking Asian'."
Jo posted a video of the attack on Facebook, which shows the attackers smacking Kim in the face with the bottle.
— Teuta (@teuutaa_) October 19, 2017
Jo's caption stated: "My friend just got unexpected racial attack by a English man in Brighton. As you can see from the video, his face got beat with a champagne bottle, so one of his teeth was broken, 10 of them are shaking, and the one that was broken is prescribed to be requiring killing nerve of teeth.
The situation started with the attacker throwing a bottle of wine behind my friend. My friend asked him why he has thrown the bottle him and then he answered "Because you are xxcking asian.". After that, even though my friend tried to ignore and go back home, he kept making racial face, gestures, and saying racial words. After he got beat by the attacker, all 3 of them ran right away."
The incident has left Kim with severe injuries to the teeth and mouth – one tooth has been broken and the others are incredibly unstable. After being unable to find suitable treatment in Brighton despite waiting in A&E for two hours, Kim went to a clinic in Korea town in London where he was finally treated, before returning home to Brighton at 4am.
Joe Cave, who set up a crowdfunding page to help Kim repay the dental fees, managed to raise over £1,300 through the site – beating the initial target of £1000. Cave spoke to Kim himself, who left the following statement on his behalf;
"I was so angry and disappointed with what has happened, but I have felt compassion by so many people who have supported me and help me.
"Now I just want that this kind of case that has happened to me would not to happen again to other people; and if there are still people who have racial prejudice, to wake up and think about this carefully. Lastly, want to say thanks to people who have shed light on my case."
The crowdfunding page says that if the amount raised exceeds the cost of dental surgery, the remaining money will be donated to an anti-racism charity.
As Kim may have to seek further treatments for his injuries, Sussex Police request that if anyone can identify the attackers from the video to please come forward.
The Sussex Students' Union has also come forward to provide a comment:
"We were shocked to hear of the alleged racist attack against a Sussex student in Brighton this weekend.
"We would like to reiterate that the Students’ Union has a zero tolerance policy against violence, and strongly condemn acts of violence and discrimination.
"The wellbeing and safety of our students is a priority for us. If any student has concerns we recommend they contact the University of Sussex’s Student Life Centre.
"The incident is currently under investigation, and we urge anyone with relevant knowledge of the situation to contact Sussex Police."
Since the incident took place, a spokesman for Sussex police left the following statement; "At about 10.30pm on Sunday (15 October), police were called by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) following a report of an assault in North Street, Brighton.
"The victim, a 20-year-old man from Brighton, had been struck with a bottle, causing facial injuries, and was taken to hospital for treatment.
"Enquiries are ongoing and anyone who saw what happened is asked to report it online at https://sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or call 101 quoting serial 1481 of 15/10.
"Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers (www.crimestoppers-uk.org) website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111."