An NHS worker targeted in what police believe may have been a racially aggravated hit-and-run attack has said the incident has left him scared to go outside.
The unnamed 21-year-old suffered a broken leg, nose and cheekbone after a car was deliberately ploughed into him near to Bristol’s Southmead Hospital as he was leaving work there.
Two men are reported to have shouted racist abuse before running from the Honda Accord. Police say the victim could have been killed.
Now, in a statement, the man, who also needs plastic surgery to his face and leg, said: “I don’t feel safe to walk outside and I can’t play football, record my music, go to the gym or even sleep – I have to try to sleep sitting up.
“I am lucky to be alive. I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to any other person. I want to raise awareness about racism and I want people to stop this hatred. These men and this attack do not represent Bristol. Bristol is made up of so many different communities and I know so many great people.”
And he added: “We will bounce back as a family, this will make us stronger. We won’t let the haters win.”
The man’s mother said the situation was a “waking nightmare.”
The family released pictures to highlight the gravity of what had happened.
Avon and Somerset Police said it was treating the incident, which happened last Wednesday at 4.30pm, as “racially aggravated”. The force has recovered the car used in the attack and is reviewing CCTV.
Inspector Lorna Dallimore called the assault “shocking”.
She said: “I understand and share the concerns people have about this incident. We’re talking with community leaders, the local authority and Sari [the Stand Against Racism and Inequality charity], but we have no evidence to suggest there is a wider risk to the public.”
There has been tension in Bristol since a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston was toppled and pushed into the city’s harbour last month. A statue of the black playwright and poet Alfred Fagon was vandalised with a corrosive substance shortly after, while the grave of an 18th century enslaved man, Scipio Africanus, was also smashed.
At the weekend a 59-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of kicking one officer and racially abusing a second in the city.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to contact police online or by phoning 101, quoting reference number 5220163308.
Sculpture of Black Lives Matter protester removed from Colston plinth