Revealed: Woman accused of spitting on Harrods security guard was of Arab descent
LONDON: A customer who was charged with common assault after spitting on a security guard at London’s high-end department store Harrods is Yusra Elmzouri, 20, from west London, can reveal Arab News .
A Metropolitan Police statement given to Arab News confirmed that the assailant, believed to be of Arab descent, was arrested on Thursday and charged on Friday.
She was released on bail to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 2, the statement added.
Video has surfaced online showing Elmzouri appearing to spit on a Harrods security guard before being chased and shot outside the famous London department store.
The dramatic images posted on social media showed a group of three women, who were told by security to leave the store so as not to wear face masks, which are currently mandatory in all indoor public spaces in England, unless they are be medically exempt under UK law, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The video was filmed by a passerby outside the store and begins with guards escorting a group of visibly angry women out of the store onto the street, during which one of the women appears to kick one of the security guards.
It then shows an erupting brawl between the women and up to a dozen security guards, who prevent them from entering the store.
As the brawl escalates, with security guards pushing the women away from the store entrance, one of the women jumps onto a passerby’s back and spits in the face of one of the guards.
She then runs away and tries to cross a nearby road, while the guard she spat at pursues her, followed by other security guards.
She is caught, then dragged to the ground in the middle of heavy traffic and brutally held by the guards.
Harrods is owned by the Qatar Investment Authority and is a popular destination for Arab tourists visiting the British capital, especially during the summer months.
“Harrods Security has been called in following complaints about a group behaving aggressively in the store,” said a statement from Harrods to Arab News. “Our security team is trained to protect people inside the store from any behavior that could put our customers and employees at risk.
“When security attempted to expel the individuals, they resisted forcefully and reacted with extremely aggressive behavior, including spitting at a security guard.
“One of the people was then arrested and detained at the scene,” added the spokesperson.
Under UK law it is an offense of assault to deliberately spit on a person.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak last year, England and Wales Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill said anyone using COVID-19 to threaten emergency workers and essentials, including spitting and coughing, would face criminal prosecution.
Several people in the UK were jailed last year after being accused of spitting at supermarket workers, members of the ambulance service and police.