THE owner of a Chinese take-away was in a serious condition in hospital last night after being stabbed as he attempted to stop thieves stealing his car in what police have called a possible hate crime.
Named locally as Jie Yu, the 37-year-old sustained multiple injuries as a result of the incident in West Pilton Park, Edinburgh, which police said was racially motivated.
He is understood to have given chase on his bicycle after a group of men stole his Volkswagen Polo from outside his restaurant.
Police yesterday confirmed the assault was being treated as a hate crime and said officers have detained one man. They are following positive lines of inquiry to identify all those involved.
The victim’s friend, who did not want to be named, said: “His wife phoned me and said her husband was in hospital. She told me what happened. She is very upset. She was crying and very sad.
“Someone tried to take his car and he tried to get it back. Young guys stole the car from the shop. He took his bicycle and went after the car.
“They stabbed him four or five times. Two times near the lungs, once in the hand and once in the neck. It happened very quickly.”
Local residents said the man’s restaurant, the Peking Garden, has been repeatedly targeted with several windows smashed in recent months.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s just shocking. I heard a car screeching and looked through the window. The next thing I saw was the owner of the shop cycling down the road.
“It happened around the corner. When he confronted them, they apparently punched him to the ground and stabbed him.
“It’s got out of hand. The young folk around here have damaged all the shops. They also smashed the glass in the shop windows. They broke it again and again.
“I don’t know why. In the last seven years, this is the worst it’s ever been.”
The scene was still cordoned off with police tape yesterday afternoon while uniformed officers were patrolling the area.
Police Scotland said they were responding to the incident by working together with local community organisations and the city council.
Detective Inspector Gary Boyd, who is leading the investigation, said: “Our inquiries are continuing within the local community and thanks to information gathered, we now know that the victim’s car was stolen just prior to the attack taking place.
“What we do not yet know at this time is whether the same individuals responsible for the theft are also responsible for the assault and so we are keen to hear from anyone who can assist us with this line of inquiry.
“We are continuing to investigate this attack as a hate crime to ensure that all appropriate lines of investigation are followed, and the information from the public is vital in bringing those responsible to justice.”
He added: “Anyone with information relating to the theft of a silver Volkswagen Polo from Ferry Road Drive or the serious assault, which took place in West Pilton Park is urged to contact police immediately.”