A 20-year-old pregnant Jewish woman was stalked and punched in the stomach by a lone male suspect who seemed to attempt to suffocate her with what appeared to be a pillowcase.
The incident occurred along Manor Road, Stamford Hill in what the Metropolitan Police are treating as a possible hate crime.
CCTV footage published by Shomrim, a Jewish Neighbourhood Watch group, shows the 27-weeks pregnant woman stalked by a lone man down an alleyway, who then attempts to suffocate her with a pillowcase or cloth and throws punches onto her abdomen in an unprovoked attack.
Footage then shows the victim escaping while the man flees with his leopard print shopping trolley down a main road.
Stamford Hill is known for having one of the biggest Orthodox Jewish communities in Europe.
Shomrim has since deleted the assault footage from their Twitter account as it is “very violent and could be triggering for many victims”, but has included clear images of the assailant alone with footage of his getaway.
The woman was taken to hospital for treatment to minor injuries.
A spokesman for the Met Police said: “Detectives are investigating after a woman was assaulted in a Hackney street.
“Police were called shortly after 7pm on Thursday, March 18 regarding an assault that had occurred approximately 30 minutes earlier on Manor Road in Stamford Hill.
“The victim, a 20-year-old woman, informed officers that she had been approached from behind by the suspect, who put a cloth or pillow case over her head before assaulting her.”
Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, told Eastlondonlines: “This is a very shocking incident. The anti-Semitism is appalling, but also to attack a pregnant woman in this way is terrible. All my sympathy is with the family and friends of the victim.”
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, tweeted: “My thoughts are firstly with the victim and her family at this awful time and I know just how angry and concerned residents in the area are.”
“Working with Cllr Fajana-Thomas and Council colleagues, we have ensured there are increased Council and police patrols in the area. I have also reached out to the Shomrim this morning to offer further support to them and the family, and I continue to make clear how appalled I am that this has happened.” he added.
Officers have yet to establish a motive, or determine whether this was a hate crime.
Anyone with information can call police via 101 quoting reference Cad 6517/18Mar.