Cyclist fears 'psychopath' gang who pushed him into the Grand Union Canal could kill
PUBLISHED: 15:36 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:37 29 February 2016
A man who was pushed into a canal in a random attack is calling for his 'psychopath' assailants to be found before they kill someone.
Pete Bettell, who lives in a canal boat in Kensal Rise, was cycling along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal in Paddington when he was attacked on February 23 at around 6.30pm.
Two men pushed him into the icy canal before a woman, who Mr Bettell believes knew his attackers, came to his rescue by pulling him out.
He told the Times: “They are absolutely scum. They are psychopaths who need to be caught before they kill someone.
“My feet were clipped to my bicycle so I was struggling to free myself. If she hadn’t come to my rescue I dread to think what would have happened.
“She is an absolute angel and I would like to find her to thank her.”
The 53-year-old, who has lived in South London all his life until he moved to Kensal Rise a year ago, is so traumatised he now plans to move out of the area.
Recalling the moments before he was attacked, he said: “As I was cycling I saw a group of four men but didn’t think they would do anything to me because I have no beef with them and had never seen them before in my life.
“But when they started walking towards me I thought ‘they are going to mug me’ and then I felt either a punch or a hit and I was in the water.
“The water was freezing and it was dark. The two that pushed me ran away and the others just stood there staring.
“I fear that they’ll do this again and their next victim won’t be quite as lucky. They need to be caught.”
Mr Bentell was treated for cuts and bruises before being discharged.
“They are local and someone knows who they are,” he said.
“I also suspect them of being behind another incident where a rope from my boat was stretched across the towpath and ended up injuring another cyclist.
“They are dangerous individuals.”
The suspects, who are all black, are in their late teens or early 20s.
Any witnesses that haven’t already spoken to police, or anyone with any information should call detectives on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.