Shocking photos and CCTV of American student attacked in Tower Hamlets
Police believe an American student had a bottle smashed in his face, leaving him scarred for life, because he was "obviously not local".
Francesco Hounye, 22, had only been in the UK three days when he was attacked by a group of men in Commercial Road.
He was hit with a bottle before being chased, kicked an punched, following a night out in Brick Lane.
Francesco was walking with a friend to his home in Shadwell.
Following the attack, the American needed 23 stitches to his face and more internally. Police have yet to be able to identify the culprits of the attack, which took place just after midnight on Monday, June 17.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Ben Mott, said: "We believe the suspects picked a fight with the victim as he was obviously not from the local area and they took exception to the fact that he was a bit different. The victim has an Italian accent, his own style of dress and mannerisms and, when challenged by the Asian males, answered them back.
"They retaliated by grabbing the bottle and launching a vicious attack that has left him scarred for life. He had come to the UK to enhance his studies and has been left so shocked and horrified by what happened that he feels unsafe and is unsure if he wants to stay here.
Francesco said in a statement to police: "As a result of this incident I am now scared to go out on my own in London. I am a visitor to the UK and was considering continuing my studies here but this incident has made me think twice.
"I feel very emotional about the whole situation. I also now face the rest of my life with the permanent scarring that will be left on my face as a result of this attack. Every time I look in the mirror from now on I will be reminded of this incident."
The suspects are described as Asians and aged in their late teens to early 20s. Police said they are possibly Bengali.
Anyone who can help is asked to contact Tower Hamlets CID on 020 7275 4546 or if you wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.