A disabled man was left with serious injuries after being assaulted in an unprovoked attack.
Richard Sandon, 52, who needs a mobility scooter to get around, was travelling along the tow path beside the River Nene towards Peterborough city centre when at about 7.30pm on Friday (February 13) near the bridge at Railworld when he was attacked.
The attacker approached in the opposite direction and Mr Sandon pulled over but his dog Blue, which was on a lead and is deaf, walked to the other side of the path.
The man tripped over the lead and Mr Sandon apologised but he responded by punching him to the face, knocking him out of his scooter, before punching and stamping on him on the ground. The dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was also kicked but was not seriously hurt.
A passer-by called emergency services and Mr Sandon, who was in the RAF for 17 years before retiring after being shot in the leg in South America, was taken to Peterborough City Hospital and remains there today.
He was treated for a broken arm, fractured ribs, bruised kidneys and has various bruises around his face and body.
The attacker, who made off after the incident, was described as wearing a peaked black beanie hat with a red, yellow and green band around it.
He was also described as black, slim, about 6ft 2in, in his late 20s or early 30s, and wearing a military-style green khaki three-quarter-length jacket, jeans and white, boot-type trainers.
Mr Sandon said: “I cannot understand what sort of person would attack me and my dog Blue in this way. I am a disabled man who is obviously unable to defend myself.
“Blue is deaf and wears a high-visibility coat which states this. Neither of us were a threat to this man. I hope he is caught so he cannot do this to anyone else.”
Detective constable Vicky Speirs added: “Mr Sandon tried to explain that his dog was deaf while apologising but the man launched a vicious and cowardly attack.
“It was an appalling and unprovoked assault on a victim who couldn’t defend himself.
“I’m confident there would have been others using the footpath at the time and may have seen this man. Anyone who thinks they saw the man described or has any other information should contact police.”
INFORMATION: Anyone with information should call DC Speirs on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.