A TRAINEE soldier was left battered and bruised by a gang of youths for refusing to give them a cigarette.
Josh Jarvis (16, pictured), of Brinsworth, was at Meadowhall at 8pm waiting for a bus home when a group of five teenagers set upon him in an unprovoked attack.
The attack left Josh with a black eye and broken tooth and needing emergency treatment.
Josh, who is hoping for a career in the Army, was due to start a military preparation course at a college in Doncaster on Monday but was unable to go due to his injuries.
He said: “I felt a bit confused because I don't know what I did.
“I was only sat down waiting for the bus to go and they came up and said a few things.
“One of them asked me for a cigarette and I put my phone back down and one of them punched me.”
Josh said after the boys started attacking him, he had put his hood up and curled into a ball.
Mum Shelly Jarvis, who contacted the Advertiser so she could warn other parents about the gang, said: “They walked past my son and said: 'Have you got a problem?’ and he said, ‘No’.
“He was just sat looking on his phone, and they said: ‘You look like you have.’
"”They asked him: Have you got a fag?’ and he said no and looked down at his phone.
“I think they were looking for a fight.”
Shelly said the boys fractured his son’s tooth and left it hanging loose.
“The first punch was in the side of his head,” she said.
“One punched him in the eye and his eye is swollen shut and purple.
“One of them punched him in his mouth and that's when his tooth has been knocked out.”
Shelly said the boys, who were described as Asian and aged 16 or 17, then repeatedly kicked and stamped on Josh's back before running off.
She said Josh had told her that at least three of the five boys had attacked him in the incident on November 22.
“I don’t think there was anyone else around because the bus stop he was waiting at is right up at the top of the station,” she said.
“He was waiting for the X1 bus and he was that shook up that he actually got on the bus.
“He couldn't talk and his eye was that swollen that it was shut.”
It wasn’t until Josh got to Rotherham Interchange that he called his dad and told him what had happened.
Shelly said the attack left Josh in Rotherham Hospital for five hours.
It was the first time he had been to Meadowhall by himself,” she said.
“He’s quite ashamed and embarrassed about it.
“He’s done boxing since he was seven and he's never, ever got a black eye.”
Shelly said one of Josh’s front teeth had been knocked out and he might yet lose it completely if the dentist was unable to crown it.
A police spokeswoman said: “Police received a report at 11.30pm on November 22 of an assault on a 16-year-old boy at Meadowhall Interchange.
“It is reported that the boy was attacked by a group of five teenage boys at around 8pm while he waited for a bus.
“He suffered minor injuries in the attack and was taken to hospital for treatment.
“An investigation is ongoing to find those responsible. Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 1025 of November 22.”