Pensioner jumped in canal to avoid thugs

Published: Saturday, 23 May 2009

A BLACK man who was attacked by four white men on the towpath of the Rochdale Canal jumped into the water to try to save himself.

The thugs racially abused the 69 years old pensioner, and one punched him in the face, so the terrified pensioner jumped into the waterway and managed to wade across to the other side to escape further injury after the men demanded his cash.

This happened in early afternoon in Rochdale, and is the second attack on the same towpath, as a 29 years old man was accosted by two men who demanded cash. When he refused, again he was punched to the ground and kicked as he lay there.

Since the Rochdale Canal was reopened and the towpath upgraded, there have been many reports of attacks and demands for cash, and is fast becoming a no-go area.

Of the latest attacks, Detective Constable Julian Peach, of Rochdale CID, stated:

"Both of these offences are appalling, but it beggars belief that a group of racists would scare a pensioner so much that he did a dangerous thing by jumping in a canal. I'm appealing for anyone who may have witnessed either of these robberies, or who knows who is responsible, to get in touch."

Anyone with information can call police on 0161 856 4669 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.