A MAN had part of his ear bitten off in an unprovoked attack in a takeaway.

Marco Oswald, 22, had been out celebrating the bank holiday weekend with friends when he was attacked in the Urban Oven pizza shop, in Claypath, Durham City, at about 1.10am on Monday.

Mr Oswald, of Crystal Close, Chilton, County Durham, had ordered food and was waiting for it with his girlfriend, Gemma Vasey, 19, from Ferryhill, County Durham, when the assault took place.

He said: “We went to stand against the wall to wait.

“A lad came in. I’d never seen him before. He went up to the counter, barging into people. His girlfriend came next to us and then he came over. He started saying: ‘What are you looking at?’ and barging into us.

“He was saying: ‘Do you want to go outside?’ And he said: ‘I’ll bite your ear off’.

“Before I knew it, he had hit me in the belly. Then he hit me in the face, got me in a headlock and bit my ear.”

Part of Mr Oswald’s left ear was torn away.

A takeaway worker jumped from behind the counter and pulled the attacker off Mr Oswald.

Mr Oswald was taken to the nearby University Hospital of North Durham, where he was stitched up.

He is still in pain, has been signed off work until Tuesday and faces two operations to reconstruct the ear. His hearing was not affected.

He said: “It was traumatising. We are still in shock. I do not think very much of him (the attacker). I hope they catch him.”

Mr Oswald described his attacker as about 5ft 8in with light brown hair. He wore a white top and dark trousers.

Detective Constable Catherine Knox, of Durham CID, said: “This was an unprovoked attack and we are urging members of the public to come forward if they have any information that may help us identify the attacker.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.