A “hero” mechanic saved a man after he was doused in acid in a shocking attack today.

Elhaj Diallo, 30, rushed to the man's aid when he ran into Kwik Fit in High Road, North Finchley, screaming in agony at 10.30am today.

The quick-thinking mechanic dragged him into the back room and began pouring water over his eyes.

He said: “He was just a human being struggling and needed help.

“The man was probably about 40 to 45 years old.

“He jumped over the bar which we use to close the garage and he was screaming ‘acid, acid’.

“I took him by the arm and rushed him to the washroom where we have water and had him take off his clothes.

“His eyes were really red and he was blind so I had to grab him and help him.

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“You don’t know these people. They could have stabbed him after they blinded him.

“He must have fallen over because he was bleeding on the elbows and we kept washing him until the police came.”

The mechanic said he did not want his photograph taken in case the man’s attackers came looking for him.

The victim was walking down the high street when two men are believed to have approached him.

They took his mobile phone before dousing him with acid.

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Charity store manager, Idris, 58, said that a police presence was needed in the area which was so dangerous he said his war torn homeland of Somalia looked safer.

He said: “I come from Somalia and sometimes I think I’m safer there than I am in London.”

“When the police came down the road we thought someone had been stabbed.

“More and more people are getting acid thrown at them and people are going to start thinking this is normal, but it’s not.

“I can only hope that these people get the harshest punishment available to make an example of them.

“Soon people will start to want guns because the police are not here to protect us.

“We need their presence.”

Jim Nicola, 63, who drives an ice cream van in the area said: “It’s terrible, that someone like that would go about planning and putting the effort into getting the stuff to throw at someone, they have to be mentally ill.

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“People have to be careful now they are on their phones like they are glued to it and they pose a target.

“When you have to hurt someone its stupid.

“To disfigure them its physical harm and also mental harm.

“I have three kids, 22, 28, and 31 and you worry about them.

“I tell them not to go out at night and not have their phones out at night.”