Belgium: Man of “North African origin” assaults Bystander who asks him to stop Harassing two Girls
On Sunday 8 October a young man from the Belgian town of Ghent posted on Facebook about a fight he got into:
“On Friday night 6 October, at 03:00 I was beaten up in front of a store while trying to break up an ‘argument’. A young man of ‘North African’ origin was harassing two girls when they tried to leave on their bike. They screamed for him to stop, but he continued. I made it very clear to him he should stop, but unlike dozens of other times, this time it did not end well.
If someone has advice/camera images/… or knows who those girls were: please contact me. The chances that this civil engineer can be caught is next to zero, but I do want to give it a go.
He was alone (oddly enough), between 170 and 180 cm, not really broadly build, with frizzy hair (not shaved, although on the sides it might have been), with Arab roots and I have a sneaking suspicion he can be found in a kickbox-club with some regularity.
I have been stitched and might be looking at scarring in my face. I believe he has used a key or other sharp object.
This clearly wasn’t his first time.
Girls on the bike: if you read this… Thanks for driving off and not calling the police while I was being beaten up. Much appreciated.”
The post was picked up by Belgian newspapers such as Het Nieuwsblad and Het Laatste Nieuws. They report that the Belgian police confirm that the man reported the crime, but say they cannot comment because of the ongoing investigation.
On 9 October, the man from Ghent posted another message on Facebook:
“Just a big, fat ‘thank you’ to everyone who has chimed in. My inbox is filled with supporting messages ánd some leads. Surprising, but fantastic: there are some responses from ‘immigrants’, well-meaning people sick and tired of the rotten apples spoiling it for them.
My advice: ‘if you want to stop being treated as a cliché stop acting like one.’ This is true for every person: whether you’re white, coloured or transparant. Although I would seriously question that last case possibility… 😉
The message has gone viral (I hoped it would be shared five times) and made the press. Unfortunately, with my full name, but I guess that can’t be stopped. Some papers were elegant enough to just use my initials (for which I thank them). Hopefully this surreal weekend leads to a conviction (although I think the chances of that are next to zero). If not: hopefully this shakes us a little.
There are immense problems that will not go away if we stick our heads in the sand. Do me and humanity a favour and INTERVENE when you see things like this happening. Be vigilant, alert, quick and do not hesitate. Be vigilant, yet courteous.
The bystander effect has to stop. We must show that this sort of abuse/behaviour is not acceptable, least of all in beautiful Ghent.
For now, I’m going to lay low, because apparently I’m now (for 15 minutes at least) the most famous man from Ghent. (Just google ‘Gentenaar…)
Again, thanks for all the support, my trust in humanity has been restored a little and above all: be safe!“