A 15-year-old British Army Cadet has been treated for minor burns after an unknown assailant assaulted him with a homemade blowtorch, Manchester Evening News is reporting.
The Cadet was in uniform and was waiting for a bus to take him home after he had spent the day selling poppies and collecting money for Armistice Day (poppies are worn in the UK on the country’s Armistice Day, similar to the US’ Memorial Day).
According to the Independent, a man approached the Cadet carrying a lighter and some kind of aerosol can. He then used the fumes from a can to make a sort of homemade blowtorch with the lighter, and shot the flames at the Cadet. The assailant then turned and left, never saying a word.
Detective Inspector Liam Boden says that the Cadet received only minor wounds, some reddening of the skin on his face, and some singed hairs.
“This is an absolutely appalling attack on a young man who was raising money to help remember all those who gave their lives fighting bravely for their country.”
The blowtorch assailant was described as black or Asian (he was wearing a hood), and the Cadet also reported that he was staggering, indicating that he may have been intoxicated. Because of that, police are considering other possibilities besides terrorism or political statement.
“At this stage of our inquiries, we’re keeping an open mind as to what motivated the offender to commit such an act. Given the initial description we have of the offender, it may be that he was under the influence of something, but whatever his motivation, his violent actions could have scarred this young man for life.”
Although the blowtorch attack may or not have been terrorism, U.K. authorities are concerned about possible “lone wolf” terror attacks in their country by Jihadists or ISIS supporters, according to this Inquisitr report.
In the United Kingdom, Army Cadets are members of a youth organization, similar to the Boy Scouts in the United States, that offers outdoor activities and life skills training, around a military theme.
“We welcome boys and girls from the age of 12 (and in at least year eight at school), of all abilities and backgrounds, and through a broad range of exciting, challenging, educational and adventurous activities, help them develop physically, mentally and socially. Some of our activities have a military theme, others have more of a community focus. Combining military and community activities in this way enables us to offer our 46,000 young people a unique blend of personal development opportunities.”
As of this post, police have no suspects in the Cadet’s homemade blowtorch attack.
[Image courtesy of: Peter Simpson]