Cyclists, dog walkers and ramblers are being warned to be on their guard after a Wigan Council employee was threatened by a man wielding a knife on the canal towpath in broad daylight.
Highways worker, Wayne Gough, was cycling home from his place of work at an Ince depot when he was set upon by a man and woman, one of whom had a weapon hidden in his pocket.
Mr Gough, 48 from Goose Green, explained how he left work at 4pm - getting on the canal at Henry Park Street near Rose Bridge Academy to cycle the short distance home, when a man charged at him out of nowhere.
“He was swearing at me,” said the keen cyclist. “He confronted me but I stood my ground. There was three of them but one didn’t seem interested.
“They were all sat around drinking. It was like four in the afternoon when all the kids have just left school and they were just sat with their ale.
“That area is quite bad for confrontations anyway - there seems to be a lot of anti-social behaviour around there.”
Although none of the assailants demanded cash or of Mr Gough’s personal possessions, they continued to hurl abuse at him as he tried to get past to make his way home.
He added: “One of the men - he was only about 5ft 10” but I reckon he weighed about 18 stone, charged at me again.
“He had a blade in his hand and lunged for me. It was a Stanley knife, used for cutting up carpet.”
Mr Gough said that despite the terrifying threats, the man only wanted to intimidate him and did not ask for any money or belongings, or try to take off with his bike. “This is literally over the road from a school,” he said. “In the middle of broad daylight. Police need to be acting to stop this out of control behaviour.” No arrests have yet been made following the incident and the investigation is ongoing.