A good Samaritan who was slashed by a knife after stopping to help a woman in distress has spoken of his ordeal.
Pete Osborne was driving along the A27 towards Eastbourne on Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm when he was flagged down by a woman standing by a car in the lay-by close to the Barley Mow Pub at Selmeston.
As he went to the woman’s aid, a person who is now believed to be her accomplice attacked him from behind and tried to rifle through his pockets.
Pete managed to elbow his assailant in the stomach but was slashed by what appeared to be a small Stanley knife as he turned round.
Pete said that with blood trickling down his face and into his eyes, he punched the assailant to get him away from him.
The attacker fell back several steps before running to the waiting car and the woman and they sped off towards the direction of Selmeston.
Police have now launched an appeal for the couple, who officers believe intended to rob Pete, a stock car racer who had dropped his performance vehicle off in Newhaven and was heading home to Horsebridge.
Pete said, “I had been racing in Ipswich the night before and was heading home after dropping my car off in Newhaven. As I came along the A27 the woman was standing in the lay-by flapping her arms. I pulled in and I really thought she had been assaulted. As soon as I pulled in, she ran back to her car and I kept asking her what the matter was. Then somebody pulled me backwards and tried to get into my pockets.
“I punched back with my elbow and that knocked him for six but in the tussle I though he had caught me with a knife. I punched him as fast as I could. He was shouting in a foreign language, the blood was dripping down my face.”
Pete, a branch manager at HANSA-FLEX Hydraulics UK Ltd, said he is worried what might have happened had the couple tricked an older more vulnerable person into stopping.
He is urging anyone with any information to contact police.
A spokesperson at Sussex Police said, “The victim pulled over to help what he thought was a distressed woman and was then grabbed from behind by a man who tried to search his pockets. The victim turned and saw the suspect had a small Stanley knife. He was subsequently slashed to the face with the knife In fear of his safety he punched the man to the face. This caused the man to retreat and get in to a vehicle parked in the layby with the woman. They drove off continuing eastbound in a vehicle described as a small black Toyota, possibly an Aygo or a Yaris with an 07 registration. Nothing was stolen from the man.
“The victim was treated at the scene by an ambulance crew for a cut to his face.
“The man was described as 5’ 11”, in his mid-30s with short scruffy brown hair, clean shaven and wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans. The woman is believed to be in her 20s, 5’6”, slim, with brown hair in a bun and was wearing a red round neck jumper and skinny blue jeans.
Detective Sergeant Amanda Hover said, “This was a frightening ordeal for the victim who stopped to help a woman who he believed was in distress. We are appealing for witnesses to this incident or information that may help identify the suspects or the vehicle they were driving.
“This happened at a busy time of day on the A27 and we believe there must be drivers who saw it. We would also like to hear from any motorists who may have dash cam footage of the incident. Report online or ring 101 quoting serial 846 of 05/05 if you can help with our investigation.”