Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident which occurred in Trinity Close, Swindon, at the weekend.
At approximately 6.25pm on Saturday March 2, a 42-year-old man was getting out of his vehicle in the street when he was approached by a group of four youths.
One of the members of the group is reported to have thrown a bottle of petrol over the man.
As the man covered his face, he was knocked to the floor and kicked a number of times causing large bruising to his side.
The group ran off in the direction of Queens Drive, along Rushton Road.
It is believed the group involved were all boys aged approximately 15 years old. They were all wearing black clothing, with the exception of one who was wearing a white hoodie.
Officers attended the scene and carried out an area search but nobody matching the description was located.
The victim attended hospital and sustained minor internal injuries and multiple bruising to his body.
PC Jessica Dyer said: "This was a nasty attack which is believed to be completely random, although comments were made during the incident by the suspects which could indicate that this may be a case of mistaken identity. Either way, behaviour like this is completely unacceptable and would have been frightening for the man involved - it is lucky that he was not more seriously injured.
"Our enquiries are currently ongoing but we are keen to hear from anyone who either witnessed the incident, or anyone who saw a group of youths running from the area of Trinity Close on Saturday around this time. Any information you have could really help us identify those involved."
Call 101 and quote crime reference number 54190020958 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.