A MURDER investigation is under way after a martial arts instructor was beaten to death by a gang of teenagers as they tried to steal his moped.
The 46-year-old victim was set upon after he ran out of a restaurant to stop one of them taking it.
A witness said he was attacked by seven teenagers — ‘all under 18’. He was kicked in the face and head before they fled without the moped, leaving him unconscious in the street.
The attack in Battersea, south London, happened at 4.30pm on Saturday. The victim was taken to hospital in a critical condition and died yesterday.
A waitress at the restaurant said the man, a Brazilian with Portuguese nationality, taught capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.
She said she had been sitting outside with him and a Spanish lady ‘talking about church’ and ‘he was telling me how he teaches self-defence. Then he came inside to pay his bill. One of the boys jumped on his motorbike and was trying to steal it.
‘It all happened so fast. I saw the boy punching the poor man. He turned around and punched him back and they both fell into the motorbike.
‘I knew there would be more coming. I tried to stop him, to get him out, but they all came at the same time.’ The witness said seven youths then set about the man. She said: ‘It was terrifying. One of them had a knife. I was screaming, “Stop, stop!”.
‘But they hit him and he went to the floor, then they kicked him and they kicked his face.’
A 16-year-old male arrested near the scene on suspicion of assault has been bailed by police.