A man has been arrested following a frenzied incident at Lydiard Park, in which two people were assaulted and another three, including a child, were injured.
Wiltshire Police say that the incident started at the Coach House Tea Rooms, near to Lydiard House, and continued into the overflow car park near to the Hook Street entrance between 1.30pm and 2pm on Saturday, 12 March.
Police released this statement: “A man complained about the waiting time after ordering food in the tea rooms. He became verbally abusive to a female member of staff and then assaulted her by pushing her shoulders. Fortunately, she was not injured.
“A member of the public then intervened and challenged the man on his behaviour and was also assaulted but did not sustain any injuries.
“The man then left the café and headed towards his vehicle in the overflow car park, whilst being followed by a member of the public and park wardens.
“Once the man was inside his vehicle, he then reversed into a member of the public, before reversing into another person’s car.
“He then accelerated through a rope fence which was being used as a boundary for the car park. As he made off in the vehicle, the rope and metal stakes which were attached to it, were dragged along the ground. The rope trailing the car collided with a mother and her eight-year-old daughter, causing them both to be knocked to the ground. The young girl sustained minor leg injuries. At least one other car was then damaged in the car park.”
PC Sarah Cooper, of Swindon Response Team, said: “It is a miracle nobody was seriously injured during these incidents. The park was busy at the time – it was a busy Saturday afternoon with an estimated several thousand people visiting the park. It is highly likely that there were a number of witnesses to the incident.
“We have spoken to witnesses as part of our ongoing enquiries but I would like to appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the assaults in the café, or the criminal damage in the car park, to come forward and contact police immediately if you have not already done so.”
A 48-year-old man from Monmouthshire has been arrested in connection with the incidents and has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Anyone with information should call PC Cooper at Gablecross Police Station on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously if preferred.