A Royal Air Force (RAF) airman headbutted and pummeled a Middle Eastern man who was attempting to kidnap him near the United Kingdom’s RAF Marham air base Wednesday.
The assault occurred as the airman was on a run near the base. Norfolk police reported that a Middle Eastern man grabbed the airman and attempted to pull him into a car. The airman, believed to be in his late 20s, delivered a headbutt to the assailant’s eye socket, followed by a flurry of punches. A second attacker, armed with a knife, appeared after his fellow assailant fell to the ground, allowing the victim to run away.
“The victim managed to fight off his attacker and head-butted him, we believe around the eye-socket, so it is possible he suffered swelling and bruising in this area,” said Detective Superintendent Paul Durham, a member of the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigative Team, in a statement.
“He was then punched which caused him to fall to the ground. Clearly the extent of his injuries is unknown however we do not believe either attack caused the suspect to bleed, contrary to reports circulating in the media.”
Authorities continue to search for the two suspects, both believed to be between 20 and 30 years old. Durham noted he and his team are reviewing CCTV footage of the incident and are making attempts to trace the vehicle used in the crime.
The last similar attack on British military personnel involved the capture and public hacking to death of Drummer Lee Rigby, a member of the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in 2013. Both of Rigby’s killers were British Nigerians who converted to Islam.
Norfolk police conducted house-to-house inquiries near the crime scene over the weekend, and encouraged anyone to report any Middle Eastern men with bruised eye sockets to police.
“If you know someone who matches the description of our suspect, who has a similar injury, then I would urge you to contact my officers,” said Durham.
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