Eastbourne Gazette columnist, Trevor Weeks, is the founder of the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service.
Last week he was assaulted by a man demanding drugs while tending an injured animal on the A22 Eastbourne Road near Uckfield.
Here is Trevor’s story of what happened:
I had the shock of my life I was attacked whilst driving home from a rescue on Monday last week.
I had been out to an injured pigeon and I decided to run the bird down to the Casualty Centre at Whitesmith and was driving home just after 11pm on Eastbourne Road, Uckfield when a car overtook me at speed, pulled in front of me with its hazard lights on and forced me to stop.
I was concerned at first, but as the man got out of his car he smiled and waved at me, it seemed as if he had a casualty, which people have done before.
I really didn’t think there would be anything to worry about so I got out of the van, but before I knew what was happening, the man suddenly became violent and grabbed me by the throat.
He pinned me to the side of the ambulance and started demanding “Where are the drugs, give me your drugs”.
I was stunned to say the least, but kept trying to keep him calm and not make things worse and I kept saying, “We are not vets, we’re a charity we don’t carry drugs on board”.
After what seemed like ages, he started to get frustrated and swore a few times in annoyance as he seemed to realise his mistake.
He then slammed my head and neck backwards, hard against the ambulance and ran to his car and then sped off.
I think I stood there in shock for about 20 seconds or so. On a brighter note we had quite a few juvenile hogs in over the last week mainly between 90-250g as well as some around the 400g mark. Most have been found on their own out in the daytime, one has a nasty swelling above an eye which is bloodshot and ulcerated.
Kathy went out to little Brazil found running round a garden in Uckfield, but not picked up or reported to us for almost 12 hours. She was found to have pea netting around her, which had not been seen earlier - she is around 200g and has had to be knocked out at the vets to have the rest of the netting removed. She had a leg sticking out, but was too feisty to uncurl. Luckily she is ok and the netting wasn’t too tight, just awkwardly wrapped round under her front legs and over her head.