Singaporean in London recalls 'harrowing experience' of being attacked in street
Man, 21, grateful to passer-by who helped him as he was having the 'living daylights' beaten out of him
What seemed to be a harmless compliment from a stranger turned out to be a precursor to a blatant attempt to rob a Singaporean of his $10,000 bicycle in London.
Mr Raymond Hing, 21, was cycling alone on a quiet street at close to 1am on April 10 when he was knocked to the ground and attacked.
"He came out of nowhere, punched me in the face and pushed me to the ground. I had no time to react. He (told me) to give him the bike because he needed the money," Mr Hing told The New Paper on Tuesday in an exchange via Instagram.
Mr Hing, who frequently cycles around Leicester Square, said he recognised his assailant as the man who had complimented him minutes earlier.
"When I stopped after meeting some friends on my ride that night, the man came up to me and said, 'Hey, nice bike.' Then he just left."
Mr Hing's shouts for help were answered by British YouTuber Sherwin, who was live-streaming his walk around central London at the time.
Sherwin, who declined to reveal his last name and age, told TNP that he realised something was wrong when he turned around and saw a man towering over another person.
In the video, which has had more than 194,000 views, he rushes over to help Mr Hing while shouting repeatedly at the attacker to "leave him alone".
The assailant then runs off, but not before a desperate lunge in a last-ditch attempt to grab the expensive bike.
Sherwin calls the police and Mr Hing can be heard describing the attacker as about 1.7m tall and wearing a blue jacket.
"It's attempted murder. He is armed and dangerous. He tried to rob me," he tells emergency services over the phone.
Mr Hing told TNP he sustained bruises on his face and a bloody cut on his left cheek, which he believes was caused by the attacker's long fingernails.
"I am pretty sure he had a knife in his pocket because I saw the shape. If he (had) pulled it out, things could have been a lot worse," he added.
Now, more than a week after what Mr Hing called a "harrowing experience", his injuries have healed and he is taking the incident in his stride.
"It was frightening because it felt like I had the living daylights beaten out of me. But I decided not to let this affect me.
"I was just so relieved when I saw someone coming over to help. I cannot thank Sherwin enough for what he did that night," said Mr Hing, who has since maintained contact with Sherwin on Instagram.
"(The attacker) may have been in dire financial circumstances, but that is no excuse to steal someone else's bike."
Mr Hing, who moved to London in 2017 to further his studies, graduated from Into London World Education Centre in 2019.
Aside from its price tag, the Bianchi road bike has a special meaning for him because his mother bought it for him in Singapore last year and had it shipped to London.
"When my mum found out about the robbery attempt, she was so worried. She has been texting me every night to ask me whether I am back home safe," he said.
The Insider news website reported that the attacker is still at large. It quoted the Metropolitan Police, who were called at 12.49am "to reports of an attempted robbery in Whitcomb Street", as saying: "Officers carried out a thorough search of the area. However, no suspect was located."
Mr Hing said he plans to press charges if a suspect is arrested.
Sherwin, who has been a YouTuber for more than two years, said: "I didn't want to be one of those live streamers who just watches when someone is in serious danger.
"I told myself that from now on, if I see someone in need of help, I will try my best to protect (them)."
HARASSED BY THREE MEN
Recalling an incident that occurred at Leicester Square more than three weeks ago, Mr Hing said he stopped a woman from being harassed by three men.
"I used my bike and stood in between the guys and the woman. I helped her that day and when I needed help recently, Sherwin helped me.
"It is a dangerous thing to play hero in London, but I guess you could say what goes around comes around."
In February last year, Singaporean student Jonathan Mok, 23, was assaulted by a group of five teenagers in London in a racially motivated attack over Covid-19.
A 16-year-old boy was sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order by a British court in January this year.