"I fell right back, hit my head and lacerated my hand."
A petrol station boss said she suffered a head injury after being attacked and racially abused by a man on a moped on a forecourt in Belsize, North London.
This comes amid the UK’s fuel crisis continues, with panicked drivers queuing overnight to refill.
Nerali Patel said the rider became violent after her station ran out of petrol on September 26, 2021.
The 38-year-old said her station was a designated site for priority fuel deliveries for emergency service vehicles.
She requested her staff to close the station after running out of petrol and had put bags over petrol nozzles when two moped riders drove up at around 1:30 pm.
Nerali said: “I had already put the bags on the nozzles to show they haven’t got petrol left.
“He called me a f***ing p**i and said ‘I know that you are lying and you have got fuel, you’re a f***ing scumbag’.
“I had my back turned and I just said, ‘listen, this is the last moped, he’s been waiting for half an hour’.
“He continued to swear at me. He’s grabbed then the nozzle and I explained to him that there’s no point being rough with that nozzle because there’s nothing in the tanks.
“Then he’s put the nozzle in my face saying, ‘I’m having it, you f***ing p**i’ and with the other hand whacked me on the face and pushed me and I fell right back, hit my head and lacerated my hand.
“Members of the public and staff came and there’s a bit of a scuffle, his bike had fallen, he then called the police saying someone had pushed his bike over.
“They just kind of held him back because he kept lunging forwards towards me when I got up.
“He hit me in the face first, it was with the nozzle. He just saw a small Indian woman and he thought regardless of what happens I’m taking the fuel.
“It was when he went at me with the nozzle I thought, ‘that’s it, I’ve had it now’, because that’s metal.
“It’s like a metal pole in his hand, at that point, you think if he gets me in the wrong way.”
While being restrained by members of the public, the man’s bike was knocked over. He then called the police.
When police arrived, they arrested the attacker.
The shocking attack came less than two hours after Nerali was seen on CCTV trying to break up a fight on the forecourt when a moped rider launched a flying kick at another.
The attack saw Nerali taken to hospital for treatment.
She told The Sun: “It was a very bad day. They were fighting amongst themselves as one of the moped guys had jumped the queue.
“The other moped guys stormed the forecourt to tackle him, and there was a bit of a scuffle.
“I tried to calm the situation down, as did my manager. One of the moped guys did a flying kick.”
Nerali revealed that a petrol tanker arrived at around 11 pm on September 30, 2021. Because drivers immediately queued to fill up, staff members were forced to carry on working.
She said: “We’ve been working non-stop since Friday. We were going home for a couple of hours’ sleep and had to go back to work.
“It was stressful for us and we were not getting any joy and were reluctant to put a cap on Saturday.”
On the attack, Nerali said: “It was just shocking to be honest with you.
“He was a big man, he had a helmet on and it was just me on my own, I wasn’t aggressive or rude.
“I went to A&E and they said ‘you’re not going to need stitches’.
“I probably had a concussion, I did vomit afterwards and I’ve had a severe headache since yesterday.”
A Met Police spokesman said: “Police were called at 13:48hrs on Sunday, 26 September following reports that a man had been assaulted at a petrol station on Haverstock Hill, NW3. Officers attended.
“No injuries were reported.
“One man was arrested on suspicion of assault and a racially aggravated public order offence. He has been released under investigation.
“Enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”