Wildlife rescuer Trevor Weeks was attacked by a thug who grabbed him by the throat, pinned him against his vehicle and demanded drugs.
Trevor, who runs the Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, was driving home after a rescue just after 11pm on Monday (October 15) when a car overtook his ambulance and pulled in front of him with hazard lights on.
He stopped on the A22 near Palesgate, assuming the man needed help with an injured animal, and got out of the car.
Then the man, described as white, in his early 30s and about 6ft tall with stubble and shaved hair, attacked him, demanding, “Where are the drugs? Give me your drugs.”
Trevor said he tried to calm the man and told the attacker, “We are not vets, we’re a charity – we don’t carry drugs on board”.
“After what seemed like ages, the person was clearly getting frustrated and gave up, pushed my head and neck back hard against the ambulance and ran to his car and sped off at speed,” Trevor added.
He called police and reported the incident. The car involved was a dark, old-style Ford or Vauxhall.
East Sussex WRAS said members were ‘shocked’ by the incident and is now consulting with all its volunteers to review the safety of rescuers, especially at night.
The charity, which consists of more than 50 volunteers and two part-time paid staff working on minimum wage, will be discussing whether or not to stop night time rescues, but is reluctant to do so as night time casualties are normally more severe and in need of urgent help.
Very few rescue organisation provide night time cover, and WRAS is one of the few organisation in East Sussex which does.
Detective Sergeant Julie Dow from East Sussex CID said, “This would appear to be an opportunist and very unusual attack, which has obviously left the victim very shaken.
“We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the two vehicles in the Palesgate Common area on Monday evening, either driving or at a stop by the roadside.
“Please call Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 1861 of 15/10.”