A 19-year-old man was found with “life-changing injuries” after it was alleged a machete was used to strike his hand off at the wrist in Golding Street, Whitechapel at 5.45pm on Sunday.
Two men were taken to hospital. Police have launched an investigation into the footage, which is too gruesome to be shared, but said no arrests had been made at this time.
A councillor wrote on Facebook that locals had cornered a man who had reportedly brought a machete to the scene.
He wrote: “Yeah...you don’t mess with the people of Tower Hamlets.
“On a more serious note: Armed with machetes, this group has allegedly targeted innocent people in that area a few times. Locals decided to take matters into their own hands.
“Nobody should ever condone vigilantism like this but it should also be a lesson for people who carry knives: your weapon can easily be turned against you.”
A nearby shop owner said police closed off the street very quickly and he had heard from customers the man’s hand was cut off.
Drill rapper Ak6ix7even said people had released “fake news” of him being involved in the attack after a photo emerged of him being arrested.
He said on an Instagram live: “There is a viral image saying I stole a car. I went to buy a car simply and got caught up in this bull****t.
“I was arrested for possession it wasn’t for any of that. There’s a guy with his hand getting all chopped off I don’t even know who that is. Guys coming at my name because I’m a musician.
“I do not harm or bother civilians. Stealing cars has nothing to do with me I went to buy a car simply.”
We’re aware of a video being shared online showing a male with a serious arm injury following an assault in Golding Street, E1 on Sunday evening.
Detectives are investigating and we’d urge people to avoid speculating as to the circumstances while that investigation takes place.
— Tower Hamlets Police (www.gov.uk/coronavirus) (@MPSTowerHam) September 13, 2021
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: “We are aware of a video on social media showing a male who is visibly injured on a street in Tower Hamlets, followed by officers making arrests.
“The first half of the video appears to have been filmed following an incident in Golding Street, E1 that is under investigation. Officers attended with London Ambulance Service paramedics and found a 19-year-old man with a significant knife wound to the arm.
“A second man, aged 20, was found with a knife wound in nearby Christian Street. Both men were taken to hospital – neither man’s condition is life-threatening but the 19-year-old man’s injuries are likely life changing.”
She added: “We are aware of commentary on social media about the circumstances that led to the incident. An investigation is ongoing and we would urge people not to speculate.”
A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “We sent an ambulance crew and two medics in cars to the scene. We treated a man at the scene and took him to a major trauma centre.
“A second patient, a man, was treated on Christian Street and taken to hospital.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information about what took place should instead call 101 or tweet @MetCC, giving the reference 5643/12SEP. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.