A four-year-old boy was taken to hospital after allegedly being punched in the back of the head by a man in McDonald’s.

According to his parents, Samuel Joyes was sitting with his mother in the fast-food restaurant in The Quadrant, Richmond, when a man approached him from behind.

After the man, who is a “non-verbal autistic” and was with two carers, struck him, the boy “smacked his chin on the table and fell to the floor”, his parents say.

Samuel’s mother Alice Rose said: “He just came over and punched him in the back of the head.

“It happened so quickly.

“After it happened I pushed him away. It was just awful.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Samuel Joyes was allegedly attacked in Richmond McDonald's

Police and London Ambulance were called to the scene.

Alice said: “We were told he is severely autistic and therefore can’t be charged.

“There’s no law to hold the carers responsible.

“No actions have been taken. The police told us to contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to lodge a complaint against the care providers Connect Nursing Limited.”

When Samuel was taken into the ambulance, the paramedic explained to him that the man suffers from a mental disorder.

Alice said: “Samuel was really sweet. He said: ‘It’s not the man’s fault, he’s not well.”

However, both Alice and her husband Graham are worried that the man is a danger if he is not getting adequate care.

Graham said: “He was thrown around like a rag doll.

“He could have been killed.”

Alice added: “I’m so angry with the carers and the provider. Where’s the safeguarding?

“He is a massive risk to the public. I understand he has to get out but he should go to suitable places.”

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called yesterday at 12.46pm (7 September) to The Quadrant, Richmond to reports of an incident.

“We sent an ambulance crew to the scene.

“We treated a child at the scene and took him to hospital.”

A spokesperson for the Met Police said: “Police were called to a commercial premises in The Quadrant, Richmond, at around 12:40pm on Thursday, September 7 following reports of a child sustaining a head injury.

“Officers attended with London Ambulance Service colleagues.

“After establishing the circumstances it was found that no offence had been committed and no further action has been taken.”

Connect Nursing Limited refused to comment on the incident.

The CQC is currently investigating the complaint.