Police are appealing for witnesses after an 11-year-old boy was assaulted in Hailsham on Friday morning (September 23).
The victim was walking alone along Garfield Road at around 7.20am when a white, high top Transit van with tinted windows pulled up next to him at the junction with Station Road.
The driver, who was the sole occupant, asked the boy to get in and the boy declined. The vehicle then turned right onto Station Road and left onto South Road and drove away over the bridge.
Immediately after the conversation with the driver of the van, another man approached from the direction of Garfield Road and punched the boy in the stomach.
The victim ran towards South Road and ended up in High Street, where he told a family member at the bus stop what had happened. His parents were called who then took him to Hailsham police station.
The man who assaulted the boy is described as white, around 5ft 4ins tall and of average build with rotten teeth. He was wearing a black beanie hat, a brown T-shirt and dark blue jeans.
Detective Sergeant David Tye said, “Fortunately the boy was not seriously injured but he has understandably been left shaken by this.
“At this stage we do not know if the van driver and the suspect who punched the victim are connected, but we would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and who saw anything suspicious.”
Witnesses are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101, quoting reference 270 of 23/09.
Alternatively, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
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