An acid attack victim has told how takeaway shop staff tried to charge him for water after he begged them for help – before ordering him to LEAVE.
Mike Glover-Johnson, 46, had a corrosive liquid hurled in his face while he sat in his car in an unprovoked attack.
He was waiting for husband Lee, 41, to collect a pizza from a takeaway at 6.50pm on Sunday (30/9) when a thug opened the car door and threw a cup of acid in his face.
Mike managed to stagger out of his car and into the takeaway, Chunky Grill, in Bloxwich, West Mids., where Lee was waiting to be served.
He claims staff gave him two bottles of water which he poured over his burning face but was told he would have to pay for a third.
Mike also says staff kicked him and Lee out of the shop forcing him to be treated on the street by witnesses who poured buckets of water over him.
Police are treating it as an “isolated incident” and do not believe it was a homophobic attack.
Mike posted shocking pictures of his bandaged face as he was treated in hospital.
The restaurant owner, who is now recovering at home, blasted the takeaway owners for trying to charge him for extra water.
He said: “We got a bottle of water.
“We were asked to leave the takeaway and they said ‘if you want more water we are going to have to charge you for it’.
“I needed water on my face.
“Luckily, people brought buckets of water – I was absolutely drenched.
“I’m very shook up. I’ve been in horrendous pain.
“The doctor said I’m a very, very lucky man.
“We had been at work all day. We came home and just wanted something to eat, because we are at work first thing in the morning.”
Lee, who runs a restaurant with Mike, said: “It was completely unprovoked.
“The owner has now apologised for what has happened, they gave me a small bottle but I said we needed another one.
“They gave us another but obviously we needed more.
“They gave it to us but it was one member of staff who said that we needed to pay.
“He seemed quite aggressive, he told us that we had to move we would have been happy with tap water.
“It could have caused lasting damage and it could have been a lot worse.
“It was a medical emergency but they stood round doing nothing.
“There were two young lads that helped us they were great and another older guy came along and also got water from next door.
“I’m not sure what the substance was but the police said there was a strong smell of acid coming from the car.”
The owner of Chunky Grill has now apologised to the couple and provided police with CCTV of the attack.
Mike added: “It should have been a priority for the staff, when someone was in that sort of agony they should have helped.
“It was essential that I had water at that time and giving someone first aid in that situation is a priority, nothing else matters, they should have put everything aside and helped really.
“I’ve spoke to the owner, he was not there at the time and he has apologised and he’s looking to find out which team member it was that was causing the problem and he’s going to deal with him.”
Mike originally thought he was the victim of a prank when a thug yanked open his door.
He said: “I was sitting in the car when someone opened the door and said ‘don’t move’, I thought it was joke from someone I knew.
“I could feel this burning and I said ‘take the car, take the car’ – I thought it was a carjacking.
“I came out of the car and it was burning on the right hand side of my face, he ran towards a car and I tried to remember what the registration was but by the time I got to the takeaway both my eyes were closed.”
“I called the police and read out the registration number.
“The police said it’s a possibility to look into whether it was a hate crime.
“But that would be because of someone knowing we are a couple, and knowing the car.
“There was definitely one guy, and I have a feeling there was another guy.
“I can’t describe them.
“I think a part of his face was covered.
“It was getting dark.
“I was in protection mode. Thankfully I did shut my eyes.
“I’m home now. The doctors gave me morphine and some painkillers. They are confident that they got rid of whatever was on my face.
“If Lee wasn’t there, the story would be very different.
“If this is a sick turn-on for them, I don’t want it happening to someone else.”
Writing on Facebook, owner of Chunky Grill Sayed Hashmi, said: “We did give them water and we didn’t turn them away from the restaurant.
“We have also just finished handing over our CCTV to the police which shows the attack taking place.
“I need to clarify the confusion that Mr Mike has NOT been charged for water but instead provided him with a couple of buckets of water as well.
“In the footage seen in the presence of police shows that Mr Mike has been helped and assisted.
“Deeply feel sorry for misunderstanding created that Mike has been charged for a bottle of water.”
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: “The investigation is at an early stage, the motive is unknown and police are keeping an open mind.
“A number of enquiries are underway, including a CCTV trawl, officers are also trying to identify what the substance was.
“At this stage officers believe this to be an isolated incident.”