A petrol station boss was rushed to hospital after reportedly being attacked and racially abused in north London.
Nerali Patel, 38, was the latest victim of the UK’s petrol crisis that has already seen key workers unable to get to work and brawls taking place in forecourts.
Ms Patel, a mother of two, claims a moped driver hit her in the face with a petrol nozzle and pushed her to the ground while repeatedly calling her a “p***”.
She said the rider had become aggressive after she closed the forecourt, in Haverstock Hill, north London, on Sunday when pumps ran dry.
Angry motorists reportedly told Ms Patel she was lying and began to berate her.
“He called me a f***ing p*** and said ‘I know that you are lying and you have got fuel, you’re a f***ing scumbag’,” she told The Sun.
She added: “I had my back turned and I just said, ‘listen, this is the last moped, he’s been waiting for half an hour.’
“He continued to swear at me. He’s grabbed then the nozzle and I explained to him that there’s no point being rough with that nozzle because there’s nothing in the tanks.
“Then he’s put the nozzle in my face saying, ‘I’m having it, you f***ing p**i and with the other hand whacked me on the face and pushed me and I fell right back, hit my head and lacerated my hand.”
Following the attack, Ms Patel said members of the public came to her aid in a scuffle.
The incident highlights the ongoing challenges of the fuel shortages. Two hours before the incident, Ms Patel said she had broken up another brawl between moped drivers.
“It was a very bad day. They were fighting amongst themselves as one of the moped guys had jumped the queue. The other moped guys stormed the forecourt to tackle him, and there was a bit of a scuffle. I tried to calm the situation down, as did my manager,” she said.
Ms Patel, who was told she will need stitches following the attack, said she has been working non-stop since Friday. Following the attack, she was back at work the following day supporting her parents in running the family business.
A Met Police spokesman said: “Police were called at 13:48hrs on Sunday, 26 September following reports that a man had been assaulted at a petrol station on Haverstock Hill, NW3. Officers attended.
“No injuries were reported.
“One man was arrested on suspicion of assault and a racially aggravated public order offence. He has been released under investigation.
“Enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”
BP was approached for comment.