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Hampshire cyclists punched by van occupant in separate incidents yesterday - Police appeal for witnesses

Incidents happened on Sunday near Southampton, police urge anyone with photos or video footage to come forward

Cyclists in Hampshire say they were punched on Sunday by the passenger of a van in unprovoked attacks, with police having been made aware of several such incidents.

One rider, Alex Parker, said he suffered concussion as a result of an assault on him, which happened a little after 9.30am yesterday.

He wrote on Facebook that after visiting his mother first thing, he was cycling towards Botley, which lies just to the east of Southampton.

He said: “This psychopath in the white van decided to drive his van into me,” while “the passenger leant out of the window and punched me in the back of the head.”

Mr Parker said the incident, which he described as a “totally unprovoked attack,” left him very upset and not wanting to ride his bike any more.

Michael Stevens posted to the Facebook page of his cycling club, Fareham Wheelers, about a similar incident that happened to him as he rode to the Sunday morning club run.

Another rider who was around a minute away from him on the road was also punched, and others commenting on the thread said they had suffered verbal abuse or violence from what appeared to be the same people.

Mr Spencer said that Hampshire Constabulary had received five reports of similar incidents possibly involving the same vehicle that happened yesterday by time he spoke to them.

A member of a Facebook group for local residents in Colden Common, around five miles northwest of Botley, posted to the social network yesterday to describe her experience.

She wrote: “A warning to runners out in the village this morning and potentially the future.

“I was running along the B1277 this morning towards Lower Upham when a small white van drove as close as it could to me and a man reached out of his window (passenger side) and thumped me in the stomach whilst releasing an egg across my tummy and shouting a very offensive profanity.

“Obviously it was a huge shock and very frightening,” she added.

Police have asked for anyone who was affected by the van and its occupants or who has video footage or still photos to contact them on 101 quoting reference 44170112788.

The vehicle is described as a white van with the registration number EK66LHE, and the passenger was wearing a red shirt. A check on the registration suggests the vehicle is a Citroen Berlingo 625.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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