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Colchester: Man's hassle over 'massive' mobility scooter
A MAN who rides the “Rolls Royce” of mobility scooters says he is fed up with pedestrians tormenting him as they don’t believe he is disabled.
Paul Hills, of Greenstead, Colchester, said he was left in tears and is now too frightened to go out after the unprovoked latest torrent of abuse on Tuesday.
Mr Hills believes he is being targeted because of the super-scooter’s size and its custom-made, weather-proof canopy.
Last year he forked out £7,500 on the 6ft tall mean machine, which tops speeds of eight miles an hour.
Mr Hills, 43, said teenagers in the town’s Castle Park had thrown excrement at the canopy and he was verbally abused by the public virtually every time he went out for a ride.
The latest assault happened in Harwich Road, Colchester.
Mr Hills said a pedestrian walked past him and told him to get in the road, claiming he nearly ran him and his dog over.
“He started swearing at me so I dialled 999 and followed him. They said not to follow him as it could provoke him.
“He turned around and started punching my canopy - I put my stick up to
protect myself,” Mr Hills added.
Police arrived a short time later but couldn’t find the pedestrian.
They took a statement from Mr Hills, who has problems with his spine and joints, and who said it was the most serious incident yet involving the scooter.
It is a Breeze S4 model, described by him as the “Rolls Royce” of mobility scooters.
He added: “I was petrified - I was shaking, I was crying, because it was just the last straw for me - it is every time I go out.
“I got home and just broke down in tears and the first thing I said to my wife was I didn’t want to go out anymore.
“I am fed up with people telling me about disability all the time - they presume I have got this vehicle for a bit of fun.”
An Essex Police spokesman said: “Police are investigating an assault in Colchester. The altercation took place in Harwich Road shortly after 6.30pm on Tuesday, when a 43-year-old local man on a disability scooter was confronted by a male pedestrian who verbally assaulted him.
“Following an exchange of words, the man aimed a punch at the man, before then hitting the vehicle.
“He walked off with his dog and female friend.
“He was described as white, 5ft 10 ins tall, of big build and had a trimmed beard and moustache.
“A the time he was wearing a grey T-shirt and fitted black jeans and was walking a Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dog.
“The disabled man was not hit. Anyone with information is urged to contact officers on 101.”