A sickening attack on a disabled dog walker started an online debate over the right thing to do if someone witnesses a crime.
Police are still investigating the shocking incident which happened on the Hallglen side of Callendar Park grounds near Westray Terrace on Tuesday, February 24.
Just after 8 p.m., the 45-year-old victim was walking his two dogs when he came across two youths he thought were trying to start a fire. When he challenged them they responded by shouting abuse at him and one of them assaulted him before running off.
A short time later a group of eight people approached the man and asked him about the earlier incident with the youths. One member of the group then took the man’s walking stick and struck him with it.
Police officers said this was a “despicable crime” which caused the victim a great deal of distress.
The Falkirk Herald received a number of responses from readers about the incident, some stating the man had done the right thing trying to stop the youngsters committing a crime, while others felt he should have left them alone.
Leeanne Buchanan said: “I‘m glad he intervened. Who knows what would have happened if he didn’t?’’
She was backed by Maureen Lockey, who added: “Disgraceful, shameful behaviour. The only people at fault here are the bullies that carried out this attack not any member of the public who tries to do the decent thing.”
Alan Ellis said: “I’ve got sympathy for him but he shouldn’t have intervened, that’s what the police are there for.” But Andrew Mitchell retorted: “Why shouldn’t he have intervened? Can’t blame him for what happened because he tried to do what’s right.”
What was not in doubt was the man’s bravery and the cowardice of those who attacked him.
Gail Robertson said: “No one has the right to assault anyone,” while Katrina Angus commented: “What a brave man, hope he recovers well.”
Police Scotland stated the safety of the public is always their prime concern and they would not expect anyone to do their job for them no matter the circumstances.
A police spokesperson said: “Police advise people who witness a crime not to intervene, but to call officers and report the incident as soon as possible when it is safe to do so.”
Police are now looking for the males who assaulted the dogwalker.
The first is in his late teens, 6ft tall with a slim build and was wearing dark clothes with a hood pulled over his head, glasses and a dark scarf covering the lower half of his face.
The male who struck the man with his own stick is white, in his mid-30s, 5ft 9in tall with a medium build. He had short grey hair and was wearing a dark jumper.
If you have any information regarding this assault, contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.