Battered, bruised, broken: Young manager seriously injured in brutal Chatteris robbery
A YOUNG father was left seriously injured after a man in a balaclava attacked him with a piece of wood as he tried to drop off takings from a Chatteris fish and chip shop.
The 26-year-old shop manager, who has a one-year-old daughter, was left with serious internal bruising, two black eyes and a broken nose in the brutal attack.
He also suffered a three-inch cut to his forehead, which required nine-stitches, during a valiant struggle which saw him wrestle his attacker to the floor.
The manager had been delivering the day’s takings to businessman and Chatteris town councillor Mark Petrou’s house, in London Road, Chatteris, when the man attacked him and stole the money.
Mr Petrou said: “We are lucky that a one-year-old girl has not been deprived of her father. He could have lost his faculties, his sight or even his life. We have to find who did this.”
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Mr Petrou gave away thousands of pounds worth of fish and chips to people in Chatteris and March in a special offer last month.
“We have used your paper to give food away to the community,” he said. “But someone from that community has done this. I’m not angry, I’m just sad.
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“Since I came to the town, all I have tried to do is put it on the map. I’m very passionate about what I do and I’m very passionate about Chatteris. I don’t understand how somebody can do this.”
The attack took place on Saturday night at around 9.15pm, as the people of the town were celebrating the switch-on of the Christmas lights.
Mr Petrou said: “That attack was not meant for him, it was meant for me. The man was waiting at my own residential address. Whoever it was had worked out where I live and had been watching my family and I for days.
“I have got a four-year-old and a two-year-old and we live in Chatteris because we hope it’s a nice place to live.
“I want people to see this and be shocked. I want to let people know that this is happening in our town, a town that I have been proud to be a part of for 25 years.
“I also want parents to think about where their children were that night. Did they come home with bruises or have they got money that they shouldn’t have? Please, we must find this attacker.
“If they have got away with it once then they will do it again. If they are prepared to use that kind of violence then it could get worse - next time he could be carrying a knife.”
The attacker was described as white, medium to large build, 5ft 10in-6ft and wearing a grey hooded top and dark grey and black tracksuit trousers.
Det Con Jon Edwards, investigating, said: “This was a nasty attack and we are keen to find the person responsible.
“We believe a blunt implement of some kind was used in the attack and this has not been recovered so I would urge anyone who lives in the area to check if it has been discarded on or near their property.
“The town was busy on the night so there may have been people around. Anyone who was in the area should consider whether they saw anything significant.
“Any information could be very important to this investigation.”
Anyone with information should contact Det Con Edwards on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
Mr Petrou added: “We’ve been in Chatteris 25 years and we’ve always put things back into the town.
“We are a shop that employs local people and that buys kits for kids’ football teams. We gave away a lot of fish and chips last month and we made a lot of people happy. But somebody has decided we’re an easy target.”