British police nabbed a foul-mouthed trio Tuesday who were caught on video hurling racist abuse and beer at another passenger on a crowded tram and demanding that he “get back to Africa.”
“F-----g immigrant,” one of the young men could be heard yelling in the shocking footage released by police in the English city of Manchester. “Get off the tram now! Don’t chat s--t or get deported!”
It was the most explosive burst of anti-immigrant sentiment since Britain stunned the world on Friday by voting to leave the European Union. Local authorities condemned the language as a hate crime.
Police did not immediately identify the three men, who are 16, 18 and 20, but said they were charged with affray, which is the English equivalent of threatening violence.
Nor did they identify the target of their alleged abuse, a pony-tailed man who identified himself as a military veteran and appeared to have an American accent.
“This is a disgusting display of abuse which quite frankly has no place in society,” Chief Inspector Gareth Parkin said in a statement. “All hate incidents are treated with the upmost severity and this behavior will not be tolerated in Greater Manchester.”
Witness Nick Spragg told NBC News most of the passengers were on the vet's side.
"The only good part of the whole thing was the guy on the tram then being congratulated for sticking up for himself and getting a round of applause off most of the commuters on there," he said.
The tirade on the tram erupted after the vet told the beer-swilling trio to stop swearing in front of children.
“Don’t chat s--t when you’re not even from England, you little f-----g immigrant,” one of them yelled, calling the vet a "muppet."
"You’re a dirty little immigrant," he added. "Get back to Africa!”
The vet fired back, “How old are you? I’ve been here longer than you.”
And as the teens continued to harangue him, the vet kept his cool. “You are extremely ignorant," he said. "You’re not very intelligent, do you know that?”
At that point, two of the loudmouths could be seen pushing up to the vet. One of them snarled: “Hey, you jump off the tram now, bro, and I’ll take you off the tram now” while the other tossed what appeared to be a spray of beer from a bottle at him.
Suddenly there were screams. “There’s a baby there,” one woman cried out. “There’s no need for that. There’s absolutely no need for that.”
His T-shirt drenched, the vet started to go after the teens who by then had gotten off the tram.
“Seven years in the military, I would…” the vet said, his last words unintelligible over the noise.
“It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it,” an outraged woman said while others on the tram yelled, “Disgusting! Disgusting!”
“To England, you’re a disgrace,” a tram passenger yelled at the threesome.