Police are hunting for a man who was caught on CCTV punching teenage woman unconscious after she told him: “I’m sorry, I’m not interested.”
The footage appears to show the moment 18-year-old Gabrielle Walsh was knocked to the ground in Manchester city centre at 3.30am last Saturday, 13 July.
She was left needing hospital treatment for an eye injury after the assault in Richmond Street.
Her friend Kyle McKeown was also hit by the same attacker as passers-by tended to Ms Walsh. The suspect then fled the scene with two other men.
“We have released this shocking footage in the hope it helps us identify those responsible for this appalling and cowardly attack,” said senior investigating officer Ben Lomax of Greater Manchester Police.
“Clearly, there were numerous people who not only witnessed this attack but will have seen the three men hastily departing the scene shortly afterwards.
“Several good Samaritans came to the aid of the victims shortly after this attack, for which we are grateful.
“Imagine if you or a member of your family was subjected to this kind of violence? You would quite rightly hope the perpetrators are caught.”
Ms Walsh has previously told how she was approached by the three men as they walked away from Club Bloom in the city’s Gay Village.
“I’d taken my shoes off and this guy came over and said ‘I like your feet’,” she told the Manchester Evening News. “I just said OK and we tried to walk away.
“They kept walking behind trying to talk to me. Eventually, I turned around and said ‘I’m sorry, I’m not interested’.”
“They kept harassing us,” she added. “Then he hit me – he fully knocked me out.”
Ms Walsh, who lives in Manchester’s Gorton suburb, said the attack left her in fear of going out in public on her own.
The man who punched Ms Walsh was described as white, about 5ft 8ins tall, and wearing a pink T-shirt.
Appealing for information, officers said that the three men’s clothing was “quite distinctive” and highlighted the way one of them ran from the scene.
“Do you recognise them or the clothes they are wearing?”, asked Constable Lomax. “Perhaps you saw three people like this earlier on during that evening, or later in the night.
“If you know something, please get in touch as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information can call police on 0161 856 3221 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.