Three masked men armed with machetes are being hunted by police after they mugged a man and threatened a passer-by in a shocking attack in Bristol. The man was treated by paramedics for cuts and bruises after he was punched in the face and hit by the handle of the machete in the attack, which happened on a busy riverside path in St Anne’s on Tuesday afternoon.
Police rushed to the scene and launched a manhunt that involved a police dog and dog handler, but the three had escaped with the man’s bike and phone. Detectives have now launched an appeal to people living in the St Anne’s area to help catch them.
The incident happened at around 4.50pm on Tuesday, December 20. A man was riding his bicycle along the riverside path behind the Co-op store on Wyatts View in St Annes, when a masked man stepped out in front of him, grabbed the handlebars and demanded the bike.
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“When the victim refused, the suspect pulled out a large knife or machete and threatened him,” a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset police said. “The man handed over the bike and realised two other young men had joined the first and were also armed with large knives. They surrounded him and again the first suspect threatened him with the knife, this time demanding his phone.
“After being struck in the face with the handle of the knife and punched, the victim handed it over,” she added. The path and the area around Co-op and the retail park there was busy at the time, and a woman walking her dog came upon the scene. “She too was threatened before the three suspects made off with the man’s bike and phone,” the police spokesperson said.
“The dog walker and other passers-by helped the injured man and took him to a nearby pharmacy. An ambulance was called but did not take the man to hospital. His injuries were described as cuts and bruises,” she added.
The injured man estimated all three suspects to be in their late teens and said they were wearing dark-coloured tracksuits and balaclavas. The first young man was just under 6ft tall and slim, and was of mixed ethnicity, the police said. The other two were both smaller, around 5ft 8ins tall, slim and white.
“Officers including a police dog handler attended and searched the area with no trace of the suspects,” said the police spokesperson. “Initial accounts were taken from victim and witnesses and house-to-house and CCTV enquiries carried out. Enquiries continue.
“Detectives are keen to hear from anyone who was on the path at around that time, especially two other dog walkers, both men, who left before officers arrived. They are also keen to hear from anyone who has dashcam, doorbell or helmet camera footage which could help, or also anyone who has found or seen the stolen yellow Carrera Vengeance bicycle or black Apple iPhone 13,” she added.
“If you have any information which could help, please call 101 and give the reference 5222303422. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously by calling 0800 555 111, or online at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information,” she added.
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