An old man in Portswood is targeting girls by getting them to pick up his walking stick.
Girls are repeatedly being targeted by a white, male pensioner, reported to be in his sixties or seventies in the Portswood area.
The man, who carries a walking stick, was spotted again yesterday on Shaftesbury Avenue.
At around 5:30pm yesterday evening, I was walking down Shaftesbury Avenue, near Ceno when an old man with a walking stick approached me. He moved off of the pavement onto the road between two parked cars as if to let me pass by. There was plenty enough room on the pavement so I thought this slightly odd, but thinking he was being polite as he was carrying a bag I said “Thank you” and went to walk past.
The man then threw his walking stick to the floor, which subsequently hit me in the shin. It was evident that he had not accidentally dropped the walking stick, as it was thrown onto the pavement with some force towards me.
Aware that he had done this purposefully, I became concerned as to what his motives were and realised he wanted me to pick up the stick.
I felt that his behaviour was suspicious and so walked past, shin throbbing somewhat, at which point he began hollering and shouting at me – I replied “You did that on purpose – get it yourself” without looking back and crossed the road by the junction onto Highfield Lane.
The man in question has previously targeted girls on several occasions.
I spoke to Nel Isaac, an Anthropology graduate, who was targeted on Highfield Lane just before the traffic lights onto the main street:
He did this to me at the beginning of second year when I was walking home alone in the dark. Because it was dark I thought he was just an old man having trouble.
He basically made sure I walked past him and dropped his bag then hit me with his walking stick and pretended that I’d attacked him. Really strange.
I called the police straight away because I was upset. He really should not be walking the streets. It’s so suspicious but I made a statement and the police said he’s not a threat because he’s so old.
Lucy Mazalon, a Geography graduate has also noticed the pensioner:
It happened by the Lloyds cashpoint on the corner opposite The Mitre and it was probably around 6pm but it was dark at the time.
I saw him standing with his stick, he had put down his shopping bags right in the middle of the pavement, and held his stick out as if to trip me up before dropping it once I had passed.
Sophie Hopkins, Criminology graduate from Southampton University spotted the senior citizen last year, near to Trago Lounge and told us:
I was always on the look out for this guy as I heard what he did to girls walking on their own.
I spotted him coming towards me and he threw his bags down and encouraged me to walk in between him and the bags.
I went straight around the chairs.
Having raised awareness of the issue and upon writing this article, fellow Soton Tab Editor Joel Foreman highlighted that the same thing happened to his friend:
Literally what Georgia just said happened to my friend like six months ago. I haven’t seen him since though. I think she side-stepped him or something – I don’t think she reported it.
We urge anyone with further information to contact the police on 101.
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