A mum and dad watched in horror as a stranger sunk his fingernails into their 15-month-old son’s face during their weekly shop in Tesco.
Chris Scutt, 38, and his wife Jen, 33, were horrified as the man launched the unprovoked attack on toddler Alvis who was pushed along in the trolley.
They claim the stranger ‘tried to rip off’ the youngster’s face, leaving him with up to 11 separate scratches, and fear he may now be scarred for life.
Father-of-three Chris said: “I was just pushing my son along when the next thing I saw this hand launch past me and it grabbed hold of my son’s face and tried to rip it off.
“I had to prise the hand off Alvis’ face, which was covered in blood.
“He was distraught and has refused to sit in the trolley since, which is understandable.”
Some of the scratches were close to the tot’s eyes, so Chris and Jen rushed him to hospital, where he was treated with antibiotics normally reserved for dog bites.
“He is going to be left scarred as you can already see from where some of the scabs have fallen off,” said Chris.
“My wife and I are very shaken and Alvis doesn’t want anyone near him so we are concerned that he may not get over this.”
The family were shopping in Tesco in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, when the incident took place on May 10.
Staff helpfully provided first aid treatment care for the youngster, while Chris exchanged details with a man he believed to be a carer of Alvis’ attacker.
The family from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, who run an outdoor roller skating park, also have a daughter Skye, four, and two-year-old George.
A spokesman for Cephas Care, which runs the care home where the man is living, said: “We take very seriously our role in the care and safety of the people we support.
“As the event is currently under investigation by the police, we are unable to comment in detail.
“However, at the time of the incident we did involve the safeguarding team at the local authority and we continue to work closely with them and the investigating police officer.”
Essex Police said officers were investigating the incident.