London, Ont. man suffers concussion in alleged hate attack
London man experiencing severe headache and dizzy spells after attack by two men
A London, Ont. man suffered a concussion after getting punched repeatedly during what he describes as a racially charged attack, while sitting outside the Covent Garden Market this weekend.
Mohammad Sharifi and his girlfriend were in a public seating area near Talbot and King streets around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when they heard two men hollering across the street.
The men then approached Sharifi, accosting him and his girlfriend, allegedly calling Sharifi an Arab and telling him to go back to his country.
Sharifi says one man punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. Both men then continued to strike him several more times in the face.
"The guy was just really approaching me aggressively," he told CBC News. "He was yelling constantly and threatening me. He was swearing, he was making racist comments."
Sharifi, an international student from Iran studying English literature at Western University, has been suffering dizzy spells and a severe headache ever since the attack.
London police confirmed two 24-year-old men have been arrested for assault. Members of the street gang unit are investigating and talking to the Crown attorney about possible hate crime charges.
This latest attack is the third reported incident involving racial slurs in the past eight months.
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One person near the market tried to calm the men down, Sharifi told CBC News. Before getting punched, he said his girlfriend was also threatened when the men told her they were "not afraid" to hit her.
One person pulled out a cellphone and tried to call police, but one of the two men took the phone and threw it away. Other people successfully reached police, who then arrested the two men.