ARMED thugs launched a savage attack on a sandwich shop owner.
The 39-year-old man was left with serious head injuries after the attack in Monkwearmouth.
Three attackers armed with hammers and knives burst into Roll With It in Crozier Street at 12.10pm on Saturday.
After raining down blows on the man, the gang fled the scene in a large black car or 4x4 vehicle.
Their terrified victim was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
A man living nearby, who did not want to be named, said: “There were a lot of police and an ambulance round the back of the house. The back shutters were up.”
Detectives investigating the incident have been carrying out door-to-door inquiries and are keen to speak to any witnesses or anyone with information.
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “It’s thought the men were armed with hammers and knives.”
In a separate incident, a man suffered serious head injuries after an assault at a city hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The 48-year-old victim was attacked by another man outside the Roker Hotel, Roker Terrace, at around 1.20am.
He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital and investigatiwons into the attack are ongoing.
A 28-year-old man has been arrested and is being held by police.
Anyone with information on either incident is asked to call Northumbria Police on 03456 043043 on extension 69191, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.