A GANG chased a teenager into a restaurant before beating him up, an eyewitness says.

The group, in their teens, followed the boy in Wickford High Street on Monday, before chasing him across incoming traffic and cornering him inside a pizza restaurant on the road.

A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, watched the incident unfold as she sat at the traffic lights outside.

The 27-year-old woman from Thundersley, said: “I heard a group of teenagers about 15 to 16 years old swearing and shouting loudly, while walking behind another boy who was wandering on his own. It looked like they’d followed him from down the road.

“I was sitting outside Prezzo when the boy suddenly bolted across and into a neighbouring restaurant. The gang of about ten to 13 kids raced after him in front of incoming traffic, and was banging on the windows at him. One of them managed to get inside and the rest followed, cornering him.”

The witness said the gang started to punch the victim, adding “The poor boy couldn’t get out, they were beating him up.”

The witness, who was unable to safely stop, immediately rang the police.

She continued: “I couldn’t stop because the lights went green, and there were no places to pull over. I had a bad feeling in my stomach as soon as I saw them chase him, it was nearly 13 against one, so I called the police on hands free.

“He looked so scared, and it got quite violent. It was bad enough just watching it.

“It always like this when the kids are off at half term. They don’t seem to care anymore.”

A spokesman for Essex Police, said: “We were called at around 4.55pm on Monday, with reports that a teenager had been chased along High Street, Wickford.

“We received information that he had run inside a restaurant before we were called.

“We searched for a group of people involved but they had left the scene. We would like to thank the restaurant for providing help to the boy.

“Enquires are ongoing.”