Officers are appealing for witnesses after three people were assaulted and a woman was subjected to transgender abuse after being surrounded by a group of approximately 15 teenagers in a park in Lancaster.
Just before 9.50pm on October 24 a group of friends were in Williamson Park when they were subjected to verbal abuse and a teenage girl was subjected to transgender abuse.
As the four friends walked away towards Wyresdale Road, the second victim – a man in his 20s – was struck to the back of the head, possibly by a male offender.
The third victim – a teenage girl - was then pulled to the ground by her hair and kicked.
As the friends walked out of the park and onto Wyresdale Road they continued to be followed and verbally abused by the group of teenagers.
When the fourth victim – a teenage girl - said she was going to call the police the offending group reacted angrily and tried to smack the girl’s phone out of her hand. She was then pulled to the floor in the middle of the road by the hair.
She managed to get up and get into the male victim’s car. The male victim has then driven himself to hospital where he received treatment for a significant head injury which required six stitches. The female victim was not seriously injured but was left visibly shaken.
A 17-year-old girl from Lancaster was arrested on suspicion of GBH, ABH and common assault. She has since been released under investigation.
Officers are appealing for witnesses and are also keen to hear from anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage from the surrounding areas.
Officers are treating this incident as a hate crime. A hate crime is classed as any crime committed that is believed to be based on someone's race, ethnicity, religion or belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
DC Nikki Marshall, from Lancaster Police, said: “This was a particularly nasty and shocking incident which has left one man with a serious head injury and two women badly shaken. I would like to make it clear that we do not tolerate any form of abuse and will work tirelessly to bring all the offenders involved to justice.
"Everyone has the right to live free from fear of abuse. Abusing someone simply because of who they are is unacceptable and we understand that this incident will have caused the public a great deal of concern. With this in mind, reassurance patrols have been increased in the area. I would ask anybody with any information or CCTV or dashcam footage that would assist us with our enquiries to get in contact with us.”
Anybody with information can email [email protected] or call police on 101, quoting log 1426 of October 24, 2020. Alternatively call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
If you have been the victim of a crime, Lancashire Victim Services can support you. Call 0300 323 0085, chat online or visit www.lancashirevictimservices.org. In an emergency always dial 999.