A woman was punched unconscious after defending her friend from a racist thug who accused her of having the coronavirus.
Meera Solanki says she was celebrating her 28th birthday in a Birmingham bar when her friend Mandy Huang was accused of carrying the disease and dubbed "a dirty C****" by a group of men.
She told the Birmingham Mail: "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."
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"We tried to ignore him, even when he tried to spit at one of my friends. Towards the end of the night, there were just the three of us girls left including my Chinese friend Mandy.
"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."
"I was shocked and angry so I shouted for him to stop and tried to push him away. He punched me in the head, I hit the pavement and was knocked unconscious.”
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Local community leader Dorian Chan, who owns a number of restaurants in Birmingham’s Chinatown said: "For a man to attack a girl for defending her Chinese friend from his racial abuse, what has this world come to?
"But I have heard of similar attacks based on people's shocking racism after the coronavirus outbreak. There are a lot of ignorant people who now have an excuse to attack us."
He continued: "I know of a Chinese student at Birmingham University who was punched in the face just because he was wearing a mask. He had his jaw dislocated.
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"I've heard of Chinese people being chucked off buses in Birmingham because other passengers are complaining and telling them to get off. And the bus drivers do not stop it happening."
He added: "The virus has given some people an excuse to attack us."
Last night, a manager at Ana Rocha Bar confirmed the attack had taken place outside his premises, but said he was unaware what sparked the violence.
The popular venue has CCTV of the incident.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: "A man made racist remarks 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 should contact live chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight or call 101 anytime, quoting crime reference number 20BW/39330Q/20.
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