"He started abusing her calling her a dirty c****."
A 29-year-old woman from Solihull was punched and knocked unconscious in what is believed to be the Midlands’ first case of coronavirus rage.
Trainee lawyer Meera Solanki was attacked after she intervened to defend her Chinese friend who was racially abused and accused of carrying coronavirus.
She had been out with friends celebrating her 29th birthday at Ana Rocha Bar and Gallery on Frederick Street, Birmingham.
Miss Solanki was inside the bar with her friends, including Mandy Huang, when the group were targeted by a group of South Asian men.
After Miss Solanki said she was repeatedly harassed by the men, the group left. However, the men followed the three women at approximately 2 am on February 9, 2020.
Meera explained: “I was having birthday drinks with a group of girls and guys including Chinese friends.
“There were a group of Asian men inside the venue – one of them kept coming up to me and harassing me. He seemed to have a problem with me being an Indian girl with a multi-racial group of friends.
“We tried to ignore him, even when he tried to spit at one of my friends.
“Towards the end of the night, there was just the three of us girls left including my Chinese friend Mandy.”
After leaving the venue, one of the men confronted the group and began racially abusing Ms Huang.
Miss Solanki continued: “The man came over again and was being aggressive so we left but he followed us.
“For some reason, he got really angry with her. He started abusing her calling her a dirty c****.
“He said ‘take your f****** coronavirus and take it back home.”
Miss Solanki was “shocked and angry” by what she heard and she intervened. She shouted at the man and tried to push him away. At that point, she was punched.
“He punched me in the head, I hit the pavement and was knocked unconscious.”
One witness said: “What I saw was beyond despicable. A totally vicious assault.”
An ambulance arrived and Miss Solanki was taken to Heartlands Hospital. She suffered a concussion and was off work for a week.
Miss Solanki added: “I was so shocked and horrified by his aggressive behaviour and horrific words.
“As I lay unconscious he continued to threaten my friends and abuse them before walking away calmly with his group of friends who did nothing to stop him or help me.”
A manager at the bar confirmed the assault took place outside the premises but admitted he was unaware of what led to the attack.
The venue has CCTV footage of the incident.
West Midlands Police have launched an appeal to find the man responsible for the horrific attack.
A spokesperson said:
“We’re investigating after a woman was assaulted after another was racially abused in Frederick Street, Hockley, around 2 am on Sunday, February 9.
“A man made racist marks to one woman and after he was asked to stop he punched another female, in her 20s, in the face.
“She was temporarily knocked unconscious but escaped without serious injury.
“The attacker is described as Asian, 5ft 8ins tall, of large build and was wearing a flat cap and hoodie at the time.
“Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight or call 101 anytime. Quote crime reference number 20BW/39330Q/20.”
West Midlands Ambulance Services said: “We were called at 2:03 am on February 9 to reports of an assault at an address on Frederick Street. An off-duty paramedic was already at the scene with the patient.
“The woman didn’t want to be taken to accident and emergency, so our crews were stood down.”