A Birmingham woman was seriously injured and had to be rescued from a canal after being attacked while riding along a canal towpath. A 14-year-old has since been arrested in connection with a series of attacks on cyclists in the area.
Kim Price told the Birmingham Mail how she was cycling home from work along the Grand Union Canal on September 25 when she was pushed into the water. After passers-by helped rescue her, she was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery on a broken elbow.
Price came onto the canal towpath at Coventry Road.
“I remember seeing a group of lads – maybe seven or eight - on the footbridge which crosses the canal near Ackers Adventure. It wasn’t until the last moment that I realised there was someone else standing under the bridge on the towpath.
“As I cycled past he lunged forward, shoving me with his hands. Next thing I knew, I was under the water and I could hear footsteps of the gang running away. I remember the intense feeling of panic. The canals are not that deep, but I’m certainly not very tall – 5ft 3ins.
“I don’t remember screaming out so much when I was pushed in, perhaps because I was in so much shock I was dumbstruck. I was just thinking, ‘How am I going to get out’?”
A group of people helped Price from the water and a young couple stayed with her until an ambulance arrived.
Price says that following the attack, she would feel safer cycling on the road – something she had been consciously avoiding before now. “The main reason for cycling on that towpath is that it is safer than the road – you feel like you’re taking your life in your hands at times on the road. I’ve ridden along that route countless times over the past few years and never had any trouble, so this incident has been quite shocking.”
Last week, a doctor beaten up by muggers nearby said that his attackers were targeting cyclists on Birmingham’s canal towpaths.
John Ainsworth said:
“The lads who attacked me had a particular technique. It involves two youths, one standing either side of the path where the canal is, to make you cycle between them. Then one guy runs from the side and pushes you hard into the canal. Another guy then tries to run off with the bike. Others hide close by."
Another local cyclist, Peter Quinn said: “I have been cycling there for two years and don’t want to say you take your life in your hands every day, but there is a persistent group of delinquents attacking cyclists.”
Quinn had already contacted police in the summer. Following the attack on Ainsworth, Detective Inspector Jon Ashman said that local officers had stepped up patrols in the area to ensure cyclists could safely use the towpath. “In the longer term we will be considering other powers, such as a dispersal order, to reduce offending and anti-social behaviour in the area.”
Police have since questioned four teenagers over the attack on Ainsworth and a 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the assaults. He was bailed to a later date.
Who said the conservative party were directly responsible for it? I think you're bringing your own inferences and biases again......
I usually just skim through his comments. Having read them properly I take your point.
Perhaps if the driver sees someone on the right-hand side of the road about to throw a brick at a cyclist ahead of their vehicle, but it's quite a...
Well done, Pfeiffer! Another young British hotshot to keep an eye on. The fact we keep producing such amazing talent despite so many domestic sport...
Thanks Jamie, good advice, will give it a try!
I'm on Vulpine's mailing list and have just had an email saying they are 50% off - so £130.
That kind of aggression towards strangers should entail a prison sentence at least.
No issue with PSPO Officers or even real Police Officers asking anti-social people to stop doing anti-social things with a route to appropriate...
I went for a walk the other way around the North Willen Lake today, on the way back home there is an access road with a single lockable bollard on...
In Lancashire, even the MOT testing garages(link is external) can't afford MOTs! Saw it again this morning- still no MOT since 9th February