Coronavirus Tracing Agent Beaten Unconscious on London Bus After Face Mask Dispute

Police in the U.K. are searching for a "black man" who beat a National Health Service employee unconscious aboard a bus in London.

The victim, a 63-year-old male who works as a coronavirus "track and trace" agent, may have been targeted for signaling displeasure at the suspect's lack of face mask, authorities say.

While riding a bus in North London on Aug. 23rd, the victim reportedly observed the suspect board the vehicle while wearing a facial covering below his chin, prompting the NHS worker to move to a different area of the bus.

“CCTV footage shows that around five minutes later, the suspect followed the victim towards the back doors, where the NHS worker had gone to try and put some distance between them – when without any warning the man launched into a violent physical attack,” Metropolitan Police explained in a statement.

The elderly man was repeatedly punched until he fell to the floor, where his assailant stamped upon his head at least five times, police say.

“Although there is no sound on the CCTV and all the victim remembers is waking up in hospital, we believe that this was all triggered by face masks. We think that the attacker, who had his face covering beneath his chin, took offence when the victim, who was fully covered, consciously moved away from him,” said investigating officer Chris Bowman.

“When the attacker then follows the victim to the back of the bus, he can be seen pointing and gesturing at the victim’s face mask before he starts repeatedly punching and kicking him. This was a totally unwarranted violent assault and we urgently need to speak to this man.”

Authorities describe the suspect as a "black man aged approximately 23-25 years, tall and with an athletic/muscular build."

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(PHOTO: Metropolitan Police)

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