Grandad 'could have died' as thug drives by and pushes him off his bike

A Cambridgeshire grandad has been left with a gash to his face and internal bruising after he says he was pushed off his bike in an unprovoked attack.

72-year-old John Freeburn says he was on a cycle ride when a pick-up truck slowed down beside him. The passenger then leaned out of the window and pushed him off the road, according to John. The keen cyclist was travelling at around 14mph when the attack happened and he flipped off his bike, over his handlebars and into a verge on the side of the road.

John, from Gorefield near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, says the attack happened at around 3.30pm yesterday afternoon (Saturday, November 9) on Harold Bank between Parson Drove and Leverington. John said: “I was about three miles from home when all of a sudden a white pick-up truck came level with me. The passenger leant out of the window and pushed me off my bike.

“My head hit the ground first and pushed my glasses into my face. Now I have a gash above my eye which I had to have glued back together. If my head had hit a rock instead of a grass verge I could be dead now.

John is an avid cyclist

“I slammed onto the ground on my chest with such force that I was completely winded.

The pain in my chest was unreal – I thought I’d broken every rib in my body. Fortunately I hadn’t but I have got internal bruising. “I’m in such pain that it’s difficult to walk, and I haven’t slept since yesterday because I just can’t get comfortable”.

An avid cyclist, John regularly does 70 – 80 mile bike rides. In 2014 he cycled the 874 mile route from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for the local primary school. The retired engineer said he thinks the attack was premeditated in an attempt to steal his bike.

He said: “Usually I can hear vehicles coming and I have a Garmin radar that flashes when cars get closer. It didn’t do that this time which makes me wonder whether they had turned the engine off so they could sneak up on me.

John flipped over his handle bars and onto a grass verge

“I think they may have done it before because they had it down to a fine art.” Fortunately a woman driving through at the time stopped to help John.

He said: “The only thing that saved me was the woman who helped me. “I was down a grass verge which is a bit of a drop from the road. I waved up for help and she came over but no one would have been able to see me if I was unconscious.

“I could be dead if it happened on the other side of the road because the verge is 12 feet deep with water at the bottom”. Two police cars then arrived at the scene. John was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn to receive further care.

The retired engineer sustained a gash to his face

Dismayed by the attack, one of John’s two daughters, Beth, took to Facebook to ask the public if they knew anything that could help.

She wrote: “Shocked upset and disgusted aren’t the words. If anyone knows anything please contact the police or a member of the family. “My dad who is 72, was out on his bike and someone in a vehicle opened their passenger window and pushed him off his bike while traveling at speed.

“They drove off leaving my dad in a ditch on the side of the road with a head wound and waving for help. Some wonderful people stopped to help, called the police and an ambulance. Dad has been taken to hospital.

“I genuinely can’t believe what someone has done on purpose. Someone knows something and any information would be helpful. The police are investigating.”

John is now resting at home to recover from the attack.

CambridgeshireLive has contacted the police for more information.

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Cambridgeshire crime

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