Thames towpath incidents - Oxford

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Thames towpath incidents - Oxford

Posted: 27/02/2007 23:12:52

Police are appealing for witnesses after two incidents in recent days on the towpath along the River Thames near Oxford city centre, which detectives believe are linked.

On Friday (24/02) at some time shortly before 9.30pm, a 21-year-old woman was jogging along the south side of the river, opposite the Oxford University boathouses, when she was hit with a baseball bat on her upper torso by an unseen attacker.

Moments later he confronted her, at which point she became hysterical. He demanded she hand over any valuables and she gave him her iPod. For a short while he then tried to engage her in conversation until the victim saw a white man in his thirties cycling by. She approached him for help and the attacker ran off.

Det Con Lewis Mayling from Oxford’s Robbery Team said: “We believe a number of people may have witnessed this incident; two eastern European men talking on a bench nearby, a tall man with dreadlocks walking two dogs in the area, and particularly the man who cycled by and unwittingly saved this woman from her ordeal.”

The youth is in his late teens, 5ft 10 ins tall, white with a pale, child-like face. He was wearing a black hoodie, with the hood up, and black tracksuit bottoms. His baseball bat was white.

He is also believed to be behind an assault on a 27-year-old woman at 8pm last night (26/02) in the same area.

A white male, aged 17-18 years-old and wearing a dark hooded top, asked her the time. He chased her along the path towards Folly Bridge then grabbed her around the neck from behind and threatened her with a baseball bat, stick or club. She screamed, managed to break free and ran away.

Det Con Mayling said: “Even after dark, this is a busy stretch of the river and we are sure other people would have seen these incidents. We would like to hear from anyone who has seen a young man acting strangely along this stretch of the Thames.

“These are worrying attacks and we advise residents to take care when using the towpath, which is unlit, especially women on their own.”

Anyone with information can contact Det Con Mayling via the Police Enquiry Centre on 0845 8 505 505.

If you don’t want to speak to police and don’t want to leave your name, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

You can also give information to the police in person by visiting any police station. To find out the opening times and location of your local station please call 0845 8 505 505

Permalink: http://www.thesite.co.uk/viewnewsstory.asp?newsid=1521&placeid=34

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