Police in Hertfordshire are appealing for information after a woman cycling along a towpath in Hemel Hempstead was pushed into the Grand Union Canal in an unprovoked assault.
According to the website Hemel Today, the attack which happened a little after 5pm last Friday left the victim shaken and her bike underwater, where it remains. It also caused her mobile phone to be ruined.
The incident occurred near B&Q, situated on Two Waters Road when the cyclist, aged 29, rode past the man who pushed her into the canal. The woman, who does not wish to reveal her name, was unable to get a description of him.
Her husband told Hemel Today: “The side of the canal was too high for her to climb up and it was only thanks to a boat nearby she was able to grab hold of a rope and pull herself up.
“The bike is still in the canal. She was so scared and because it was so dark her only option was to head towards the road, the same way the man had gone.”
A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “We are appealing for witnesses to this unprovoked attack to come forward.
“Anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident and remembers seeing what happened or a man acting unusually prior to or after the incident should contact us.”
The victim’s husband added: “The only appeal I would like to make is whether anyone else saw the man.
“My wife recalls another cyclist ride past her going the opposite way so there is a chance he may have seen this man or even had some sort of confrontation with him which may have contributed to the attack.”
Police can be contacted on 101, quoting crime reference D1/14/7144, or alternatively anyone with information can get in touch with the charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.