Eric Salama (pictured) was stabbed near Kew Gardens yesterday by a thief who was sitting in his car
The man stabbed ‘near the heart’ in an attempted car jacking near Kew Gardens has today been named as a top business executive and adviser to the government.
Eric Salama was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant as he walked to his car from a cafe on Sunday morning.
The 57-year-old suffered a stab wound to his chest from an ‘enormous knife’ and staggered back to the cafe, where he was given medical help until paramedics arrived.
Salama is said to be in a stable condition with non life threatening injuries.
He is the CEO of the global marketing firm KantarTNS and has served as an advisor to the Government on e-commerce and business.
He was also a speech writer and researcher for Labour’s front bench on foreign affairs from 1984-1986.
Mr Salama is also a trustee of the British Museum and governor of Birbeck college in London.
A spokesman for Kantar said: ‘We can confirm that Mr Salama was involved in the incident in Kew at the weekend. He is recovering well and our thoughts are with him and his family. We would like to request privacy for the family at this time.’
Mr Salama had been chatting with staff at Café Torrelli about the weekend’s football just before 8am on Sunday before walking back to his car, a sporty Ford Focus RS.
Mr Salama was stabbed yesterday at Kew Gardens (pictured, forensics officers at the scene in west London yesterday)
When he returned to the car he found a thief sitting in the driver’s seat and challenged him.
Mr Salama, who was described as ‘a well educated, kind man’, was knifed in the chest and had to crawl to the cafe to raise the alarm.
Shop owner Fasink Nizri, 39, said: ‘It happened in a matter of minutes – two minutes – I saw blood, there was screaming. Eric is a decent man and has no problems with anybody.
‘The person tried to steal his car; he asked ‘what are you doing?’ ‘He was stabbed just near his heart, it was very bad – the knife was enormous – he was hit so hard that the knife it bent.
‘Our staff managed to stem the bleeding, then we called his son and an ambulance, it was terrible, terrible.
‘The man that did this was trying to steal his car, it was a car jacking – Eric was in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
The thug unleashed his horrific attack not far from Kew Gardens (pictured, Palm House at the site in west London)
Mr Neziri fears that the extreme violence he witnessed on Sunday could be a sign of things to come for the area.
He said: ‘It was very unexpected. I’ve been here for the past 10 years and I never experienced anything like that before
‘The first time, but the next time it could be us, it could be me, and it could be anyone – we have to keep our eyes open now.’
Gino Gashi, 40, a barista at the cafe, confirmed that the victim ‘is doing all right’ in hospital following the attack.
Mr Salama (pictured) is recovering after a thug stabbed him in the chest yesterday
He said: ‘I was talking with him just minutes before – he was talking about the Chelsea and Arsenal game.
‘We’ve heard from the son, he called a few hours after the attack and confirmed that Eric is doing alright.
‘He was not doing anything wrong, he is educated, a kind man – and works in the city – this was a random attack.’
A local father, 42, said that he heard screaming just before 8am – before ‘five police cars arrived’ and cordoned off the scene.
Another neighbour, in her sixties, said she saw a figure dressed in black running away from the scene at 7.55am.
She said: ‘We’ve been forgotten, there are never any police on patrol – we’ve even considered getting a private police force here.’
Police removed the car and a knife found at the scene for forensic examination. No arrests have been made.
The stabbing in a usually quiet, leafy West London suburb has shocked Mr Salama’s neighbours.
One said: ‘It is usually so quiet around here and just sickening to know it is one of our neighbours. There have been car crimes before, but nothing like this.’
The attack took place less than half a mile from Mr Salama’s £1.8m home and close to the entrance of world famous Kew Gardens.
The area is usually busy with tourists visiting the famed gardens after exiting Kew Gardens underground station.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police were called to Royal Parade in Kew at 7.54am on Sunday following reports of a stabbing.
‘Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended and found a man with a stab injury.
‘The 57-year-old man was taken to a hospital. His injuries are neither life-changing nor life-threatening. There are no other reported injuries.
‘At this early stage, the motive remains unclear. A knife was recovered at the scene. No arrests have been made. Enquiries continue by South-West Command Unit.’