An 18-year-old Ukrainian refugee was left disfigured and in need of plastic surgery after being slashed with a box cutter in a violent robbery at the hands of a large gang of approximately 40 North African men in Italy.
Danylo Shydlovskyi, who fled his homeland following the Russian invasion last year, was hospitalized as a result of the attack on the evening of Sunday, Aug. 6, in Milan.
He had been returning home from a day trip to the lake with his brother and some friends when the group was attacked outside the Garibaldi train station.
“There were six of us in all, four boys and two girls, two of which were minors,” he told Il Giorno newspaper. The victim recounted how he and his friends were accosted by “a band of about 40 North Africans. They surrounded us to steal our glasses and purse. I thought I was going to bleed to death.
“There were about 40 of them, and they surrounded us. They took my glasses away, and I didn’t react. At one point someone sprayed a stinging spray. Instinctively, I pushed away the two girls who were near me, to protect them, and I didn’t run away,” he said.
Danylo faced the attackers in a valiant effort to protect the minors and was slashed from his forehead to chin with a box cutter. He also sustained serious lacerations on his back and left arm as he sought to defend himself and the group.
“They pushed me against a parked car and smashed a bottle over my head. Then they hit me in the face, with a belt, and I bent over.”
Danylo’s mother continued to recount the story to the newspaper, translating for her son. “But after a few seconds, one of the guys attacked him with a box cutter. He slashed his whole face, from his forehead to his chin, and went to his back, also hitting his arm while his friend was trying to defend himself.”
“I thought he would be safe here in Milan. Paradoxically, he found the war here,” his mother told the newspaper.
Emergency responders were dispatched to the scene and found Danylo left in a pool of blood. The Ukrainian teen was admitted to the Fatebenefratelli hospital for initial treatment before being discharged with a 20-day prognosis. He required more than 30 stitches and will need further work on his face.
“I will have it for at least a year,” Danylo said of his scar. “I have to get the wound under control, they will have to have the stitches removed, and then I will have to start plastic surgery,” he told Il Giorno.
The Ukrainian refugee filed a complaint with the Affori police station and an investigation into the attack is understood to be ongoing.
“I hope that the police will be able to find whoever reduced me to this. Today it happened to me, tomorrow it could happen to someone else. I’m having terrible days, no one deserves this,” he said.