Police in Hounslow, London, are investigating the attack of an Irish Guardsman who was set upon by three men who threw acid in his face and slashed him with a blade robbing his Apple watch and phone.
The off-duty soldier was out running near the Cavalry Barracks in west London close to Heathrow Airport when he was attacked. His attackers threw acid in his face and slashed him across his upper body on Tuesday evening. He was cut across his arm and body.
The soldier, in his 30s, managed to return to base to get help and emergency services came to his aid. Firefighters hosed the soldier down at the scene in an effort to wash away the corrosive substance.
The Daily Mail reports that the incident was initially thought to have been a terror attack. However, it is now thought that the gang targeted the Irish Guardsman for his Apple Watch, which retails for $1,000.
The unidentified soldier was hospitalized. Although his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening there are some concerns over how the acid attack could affect his sight.
A source told The Sun newspaper, "He was just out for a run. He wasn’t in Army gear or clothes that suggested he was Forces.
"Not far from his base, three men jumped him and he had something sprayed in his face and his arm and stomach were cut. Cops are certain it’s not terror and everyone on the base is being told it’s not terror but it’s hard not to think of Lee Rigby when something like this happens.
"Officers say it was a robbery gone wrong. There have been similar incidents in the area."
A Metropolitan Police statement said: "Police were called to Hounslow Heath, Hounslow at 4.35 pm on Tuesday, October 29 following reports of a noxious substance attack.
"Officers, the London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade attended and found a man aged in his 30s, suffering from facial injuries and slash wounds to the upper body.’
"He was treated by LAS before being taken to hospital; his condition is not believed to be life-threatening.
"No arrests have been made at this stage. Enquiries into the full circumstances continue but at this early stage the incident is being treated as a robbery. [sic]"