The Met has reopened an investigation into an apparent assault on a rough sleeper by a Savoy Hotel security guard in December last year, after footage emerged of the doorman beating a man and jumping on his head.
The exclusive five-star hotel in central London has apologised after video of the attack was released on Friday, showing a guard in a black suit throwing a man to the floor and launching a brutal attack after he reportedly searched for coins in a decorative fountain.
The alleged attack is the latest in a spate of assaults on the homeless on Britain’s streets. In the same month the footage was recorded, a man in Cardiff suffered burns after his tent was set on fire, a rough sleeper was kicked by a passerby in Hull and a homeless man was burned when a lit firework was placed in his pocket in Liverpool.
In the video clip of the attack at the Savoy, a guard, understood to be a contractor, repeatedly punches the man before he is thrown to the floor as other security staff watch.
After the guard begins to kick the motionless man in the head, another doorman approaches and attempts to intervene as a third man with two dogs also tries to stop the attack.
However, the guard then lifts himself up on a large flower pot and jumps on the victim’s head, causing the second doorman to visibly recoil. The guard drags the man up by his hat before finally stepping back as more people approach following the attack, which lasted about 20 seconds.
Footage of the incident, which took place nine months ago, on the Mail Online website shows Christmas decorations in the background.
The Met police told the Guardian that their officers attended the incident at the time but no allegations were made.
A Savoy Hotel spokesperson said that they only became aware of the incident on Thursday as the original report of the incident did not detail how grave it was. The spokesperson confirmed that the guard no longer works at the Savoy Hotel.
They told the PA news agency: “Yesterday we became aware of this utterly deplorable incident and immediately launched a comprehensive investigation. To date we have found that the report at the time of the incident neglected any detail of the seriousness of what happened. We have reported the incident to the police.
“The individual concerned is no longer associated with the hotel in any way. We are shocked and appalled by his actions and apologise to the individual and the public for what occurred.”
It was previously reported that the man was a third-party contractor and not directly hired by the hotel. The Savoy Hotel has been contacted for further comment.