A YOUNG man who asked a gang of thugs to stop throwing snowballs at people and cars was kicked, punched - and then stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle.
The 19-year-old, who has not been named by police, was waiting for a bus at the junction of Upperthorpe Road and Addy Street in Upperthorpe, Sheffield, when he was attacked.
Police said the victim had challenged a group of youths for throwing snowballs "aggressively" at people in the street and at passing cars.
The 15-strong gang turned on him and he was kicked, punched and stabbed with the bottle.
His 19-year-old friend was also attacked, and suffered a cut on his forehead and bruising to his face.
Chf Insp Andy Male, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "We appreciate that people will throw snowballs when there is a fall of snow, but I would like them to think about the effect of their actions on others.
"The fact this group decided to attack a member of the public for challenging their behaviour is shocking, and we are investigating it fully.
"We have officers from CID and the local Safer Neighbourhood team working on this."
Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.
Residents and local businesspeople today condemned the attack, which happened near the Al Sultan Continental Food Store.
John Sheldon, aged 78, said: "I would never expect anything like this to happen to somebody just for asking people to stop throwing snowballs - it is shocking.
"You see groups hanging around here all the time and it unnerves you because you never know what they are going to do next.
"Most of them don't even live here, they just meet up here and we get the problems."
Claudia Thompson, 42, agreed: "It is disgusting.
"Throwing snowballs can be a dangerous thing to do especially if they are targeted at cars, so it sounds like the injured man was doing the right thing by trying to get them to stop.
"The problem with a lot of kids these days is that they have no respect - their parents need to take more responsibility for what they are doing."
Businesswoman Pat Sharp, who runs the Upperthorpe Cafe, said: "It is dreadful.
I have heard that all he was doing was saying 'stop it' to a group who were throwing snowballs at cars, windows and people.
"They were causing a nuisance, and he was only doing his bit and trying to get them to stop - he didn't deserve what happened to him.
"Local people are really shocked at what happened.
"The police had a community bobby on the streets after the attack to try to find those who did it and to stop people throwing snowballs."
The 15-strong gang of thugs was made up of Asian and mixed race teenagers and men.
Witnesses to the incident, between 8pm and 8.15pm on Thursday December 2, or anyone with information about who was responsible, should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 2020 and quote incident number 991 of December 2.
Crimestoppers can also be contacted on 0800 555 111.
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