“This person must be found...he cannot get away with this.”
Detectives and pub chiefs today united behind an urgent appeal to track down a vicious thug who fractured a teenager’s skull in an attack outside a Blackpool takeaway.
Shocking CCTV footage – captured outside the takeaway on Dickson Road – shows the moment 18-year-old Mike Rossall was suddenly set upon by his attacker, who repeatedly punched and kicked him in the head, leaving him with horrific injuries.
Police say the attacker appeared to befriend Mr Rossall, before launching the unprovoked attack.
Now detectives want to trace the thug and a group of onlookers who watched as the victim was punched five times, kneed in the face and kicked twice in the head.
The incident left Mr Rossall with a fractured eye socket and severe concussion.
Today he urged people to come forward with information, saying: “He cannot get away with it.”
Mr Rossall added: “It worries me that this guy is still out there. You can’t go around punching people and get away with it.”
Mr Rossall had been on a night out with friends in Flamingo Nightclub in Blackpool and was later standing outside a takeaway when he was approached by the group, who had walked up from Queen Street close to the library.
The footage shows a man chat to him as if to befriend the joinery student while six others watch on.
But after less than a minute, the attacker punched Mr Rossall and kicked him in the head twice.
Mr Rossall, of Woodstock Gardens, South Shore, said: “This guy starts trying to befriend me, and then he starts to attack me.
“He knocked me down and I went to protect myself and he kicked me in the head.
“Everything is a bit of a blur, I just remember being picked up from the ground, I was nearly unconscious.”
Today pub bosses backed the appeal to find the thug, saying he will be banned from all Fylde coast pubs and bars when identified.
Blackpool’s Pubwatch chairman Craig Southall said: “It’s disgraceful that someone could do that to another person.
“The majority of trouble is caused by the minority of people, our aim as Pubwatch is to find who is responsible to get them away from the town centre.”
Mr Southall, general manager of Yates’s on Market Street, is now distributing the footage to all landlords in the town in a bid to get those responsible barred from venues.
He added: “This person must be found.”
Police have described the incident, which happened shortly before 4am on August 16, as a “shocking” and “unprovoked” attack.
PC Chris Hill said: “The victim was minding his own business when this man started making conversation with him, and all of a sudden he laid into him, punching and kicking him before walking off.
“The CCTV footage is shocking.
“It was a completely unprovoked attack. Mr Rossall has not had any argument with the man.
“There are people on the CCTV who I would appeal to come forward.”
The victim was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital after the incident, where he was treated and discharged a few hours later but had to return the next day after suffering severe swelling, blurred vision and losing sensation in his face.
Shockingly, it was the second time the teen was attacked and had his skull broken in just three months after an incident earlier this year left him needing two metal plates in his head.
The August night was the first time he had been out since he was attacked by another man in the Highfield pub in May, leaving him with a fracture on his right eye socket so severe he needed surgery.
The former Highfield Humanities College pupil underwent a 90-minute operation to insert two metal plates and four pins in his skull just days after that attack.
Mr Rossall is now having counselling as well as regular medical appointments.
He said: “It’s horrible, I don’t want to go out again. I’m scared to go out and am always looking over my shoulder.
“I’ve got severe concussion and have to go to see an eye specialist because my vision goes blurry.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log number LC-20140816-0278