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Cape Town - Police are searching for two young men who beat up an ice cream vendor with a baseball bat on Sea Point Promenade on Wednesday afternoon.
Luke Dausi, 22, was knocked unconscious and lost all his front teeth in the attack.
“A few days ago I looked normal and was happy – look at me now,” he said pointing at his bruised face and mouth with missing teeth.
Dausi was selling ice cream from his bicycle when the two men, one with a skateboard and the other wielding a baseball bat approached him at 4.20pm, and asked how much his ice cream was.
“When I showed them my price list, the one with the bat complained that it was too expensive.”
Before Dausi could respond, he was knocked unconscious with a blow to the face from the bat.
“I didn’t even feel the pain, because I didn’t expect it. I heard a smash and I knew something hit me.”
He recalls gaining consciousness and feeling his pockets being rummaged by the attackers.
“They were searching in my pockets, but I couldn’t move. When I could eventually open my eyes they were gone.”
The men fled with two cellphones and R430 in cash.
A man passing by helped Dausi to the sea nearby to rinse the blood off his face.
“When I rinsed my mouth and spat out the water, all my front teeth fell out,” he said.
Still in shock and covered in blood, Dausi managed to push his bicycle back to his employer’s Ecowaste offices on Main Road.
David East, who was in the office, was the first to see the blood-soaked Dausi.
“When he arrived at the office, he was in a state, in pain and in shock. I immediately called a doctor,” he said.
East then contacted Atlantic Seaboard ward councillor Beverley Schafer, who alerted police and Cape Talk radio station.
“This type of crime is alarming and unacceptable. Enough is enough,” said Schafer.
Dausi arrived in South Africa from Zimbabwe in August last year. He lived on the streets as a beggar, before getting a job as an ice cream vendor for Ecowaste and Ola, just three weeks ago.
East and partner Gary Saven said they felt Dausi deserved a chance to make something of his life.
“This is my chance to support my mother and two sisters back in Zimbabwe,” said Dausi.
Meanwhile, support has poured in from around the city.
Dr Marc Sher, a dentist in Sea Point, has agreed to volunteer his services in repairing Dausi’s teeth.
“I haven’t seen him yet so it’s difficult to assess the damage. Prosthetic components are required, and hopefully we can get a sponsor for that,” he said.
The Sea Point dentist said it was an unfortunate experience, and he felt it was important to help in any way he could.
Others have donated money. Grant Isaacs, a restaurant owner in Claremont, has offered R1 000 towards Dausi’s travelling and transport costs.
According to Captain FC van Wyk of the SAPS, police are still investigating and no arrests have been made.
The CCTV cameras at the Promenade did not record the attack, and police are calling on the passer-by who helped Dausi to come forward.
Any witnesses can call Inspector Olivier of Sea Point police station on 021 430 3700 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111