Former boxer Michael Watson has appealed for the public's assistance in helping police to apprehend the individuals responsible for a "very frightening and violent" suspected carjacking that took place in east London last Thursday (16 February).
The 51-year-old, who sustained brain damage back in 1991 during a WBO super-middleweight title bout against Chris Eubank, was travelling with carer Lennard Ballack in Chingford when they were hit from behind while stopped at a set of traffic lights.
Ballack got out of the car to converse with the driver, upon which point he was sprayed with "some sort of ammonia". It is said that Watson got caught up in his seatbelt as he tried to exit the car and was then dragged along the road for 500 or 600 yards. Both men were left needing hospital treatment.
"I am overwhelmed with all the messages I have received and the kindness shown to me and I would like to thank everyone for their concern," former Commonwealth middleweight champion and three-time world title challenger Watson said.
"Lennard and I were involved in a very frightening, violent situation which came out of the blue in broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon. I don't want anyone else to have to go through that so I'm asking you to help the police in finding these men and bring them to justice."
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "Police were called at 16:53hrs on Thursday 16 February to reports of an attempted robbery on The Ridgeway in Chingford. Two men, aged in their 50s, informed officers that they had been sprayed in the face with a suspected noxious substance by two suspects who attempted to steal their car. The male suspects fled the scene in a different vehicle.
"The victims were assessed at the scene by the London Ambulance Service before being taken to an east London hospital for further treatment; their injuries are not life-threatening. Anyone with information should contact officers at Waltham Forest via 101. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue."