News | Hyde Park knife attack
A third year student has told LS of the terrifying moment he was mugged at knifepoint by a man in a balaclava.
The 20 year old took the fateful decision to walk through Hyde Park at 4:30pm on Saturday, November 2 as it began to get dark.
With headphones in his ears, the victim was completely unaware of what lay ahead. He told LS that before he could respond the
attacker “was already up off [a park] bench and pulled a balaclava over his face” before threatening him with a “cutting knife with a 4cm blade”.
The student described being “in shock”, adding: “I just didn’t know what to do”. When the mugger told the victim to hand over his phone or else he would “shank” him, the victim gave it to him immediately.
After the attacker fled, the student searched for help from someone in the park before finding a man who lent him a phone to call the police. Officers arrived on the scene within five minutes but the attacker was nowhere to be found. Despite this, the victim said: “The police were brilliant about the whole thing”. He added: “I hope people don’t walk through the park on their own, I know I won’t again.”
A spokesperson from West Yorkshire Police said: “Daytime offences are rare and this seems to be a case of
someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The Union’s Welfare officer Charlotte Warner said: “We are really shocked to hear about this story. We would reiterate our advice to students about personal safety, using the nightbus or public transport where possible and if people do walk home to stick to well light streets.”
Police are investigating the incident and urge anyone with further information to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Photo – Jack Scates