Police are appealing for witnesses after two teenagers were assaulted in Moorland Road, Burslem.
The incident occurred at approximately 6pm on Friday 18 January as the two 16-year-old friends were walking up the road, between the college campus and Moorland Inn.
They were approached by three males, one of whom engaged them in conversation before becoming verbally aggressive.
In an unprovoked assault one of the 16-year-olds was struck at the back of the head with a weapon, believed to be a metal bar. He was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire for treatment and received several stitches. He was discharged later the same night.
The second 16-year-old was punched to the back of the head but did not require hospital treatment.
Chief Inspector Adrian Roberts, commander from Stoke-on-Trent North Local Policing Team (LPT), said: “This appears to have been a random attack in a location that may have been busy with traffic and pedestrians.
“I would encourage anyone with information to contact us.”
The three offenders are all described as white, aged 18 to 20 and were wearing scarves around their faces. One of them was 5ft 8in to 6ft tall with an average build. He was wearing a black hooded zip-up top, fleece-type scarf and spoke with a local accent.
The other two males were also wearing black hooded tops.
Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Mick Smith at Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 662 of January 18, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.