Weston seafront café staff assaulted by gang in 'vicious attack'
PUBLISHED: 11:55 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15 18 July 2019
A Weston-super-Mare café manager has labelled a group of people who attacked her and her daughter as 'scumbags'.
Leanne Caton, her daughter and four other staff members were punched and kicked by a group of three women and five men when they began 'going crazy like animals' outside Weston Beach Café on July 4.
One female staff member was grabbed around the throat by one of the men, causing her glasses to break and leaving her with a facial injury.
Mrs Caton's daughter, who also works at the café, was left with bruises and cuts on her face, arms and chest.
The 'vicious attack' happened after members of the group began helping themselves to drinks from the slushie machine, which was left unattended outside the café in Marine Parade.
The violent scenes were captured on CCTV.
When staff questioned the group, they became 'nasty' and started shouting.
Mrs Caton told the Mercury: "They are scumbags. They got confrontational after we told them they could not help themselves, but they were nasty and grabbed my daughter by her hair.
"Other staff members tried to help and stop the argument, but one woman began punching and shouting and pulled clumps of hair out my daughter's head, which has left her with a bald spot. I just could not believe what was happening - it was awful.
"We have had issues before but nothing quite as bad as this."
The café has had problems with break-ins in recent years and installed CCTV to tackle the issue.
One staff member noticed the group returning at around 5.30pm and attempted to talk with them and keep them at the location while another called the police.
Another fight broke out, where Mrs Caton was punched in the face and chest, which caused her to be knocked to the floor, where she was then kicked and suffered a black eye, a swollen face and bruises.
She called the police at 5.46pm, and they attended the scene at 6.07pm.
One eyewitness told the Mercury of the 'shocking and vicious attack'.
Mrs Caton added: "Everyone was quite shaken up after it, but, fortunately, people stopped and helped us."
Police confirmed they attended both incidents and are investigating the assaults.
A spokesman said: "We're investigating after a number of people were assaulted during an altercation at a café on Marine Parade at approximately 5.30pm on July 4.
"A group of people had originally been asked to leave the café by a few hours before the incident after attempting to serve themselves drinks.
"Anyone with information which could help our inquiry is asked to call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5219151840."