A second teenager has been arrested following five acid attacks that were carried out in 90 minutes across east London, leaving one man with life-changing injuries.
Police say the attacks, which took place in Haggerston, Shoreditch, Stoke Newington, Clapton and Islington, are all linked and all the victims were riding mopeds.
Two mopeds were stolen from victims by the attackers during the violent which took place between 10.25pm and 11.37pm on Thursday, July 13.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and robbery in Kingsbury Road, Dalston, in the early hours of Friday, July 14 after being identified near to the scene of the offences by CCTV.
A 15-year-old boy was arrested in Stoke Newington on suspicion of the same offences the same morning.
Chief inspector Ben Clark of Hackney Borough said: “This is a fast moving investigation and we have made two arrests. However, I would like to ask the public for their help.
“Each of these offences took place in busy locations and we know there may be witnesses who have not yet contacted us. If you saw something or managed to film or photograph anything that might help us, please get in touch.
“There are hideous offences and must have been very frightening for all of the victims. I’m aware of rumours circulating that the victims were all food delivery riders set up in advance of the attacks. This is not the case. “All the victims were riding mopeds at the time of the attacks, but were from a variety of backgrounds.
“Of late we have seen more attacks using corrosive substances in London. I would urge businesses and parents to challenge those who they think may be trying to obtain or carry these substances as this could help prevent serious offences and life-changing injuries being caused.”
The most serious of the assaults saw a corrosive substance thrown into a 24-year-old man’s face leaving him with life-changing injuries during a robbery in Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington, at around 11.18pm.
Police had already received reports of a robbery in Hackney Road, at its junction with Queensbridge Road in Haggerston at 10.25pm that evening.
A 32-year-old moped rider had stopped when another moped carrying two men pulled up alongside. The pair threw a corrosive substance in the rider’s face and stole his moped before fleeing.
Then, two more men, a 44-year-old in St Paul's Road, Islington, at 10.49pm and a 52-year-old in Shoreditch High Street at 11.05pm, had corrosive substances thrown in their faces.
All three were treated in hospital for their injuries.
The fifth attack, reported at 11.37pm, involved another moped robbery, this time in Chatsworth Road, Clapton. A 33-year-old rider had liquid sprayed in his face while in traffic by two men on another moped who stole his bike and then fled.
He was also treated in hospital after making his way home and reporting the attack to police.
Anyone with information or footage of the attacks should contact officers on 101.
To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit their website.
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