John Nigel Rohm who formerly served with the Royal Artillery Regiment , was at home near the Bolton area when he was alerted by his 89-year-old wife to teenagers jumping in their groomed macrocarpa bushes about 4.45pm last Saturday.
UPDATE: SUSPECT ARRESTED AND NAMED AS 18 YEAR OLD MICHAEL D’ARCY OF BOLTON UAF.
He walked to the front of his property and asked them to get off his trees and move on. One of the youths replied: “Who’s going to make us?”
The teenager then struck out, pushing John off-balance so he fell on to the road.
He suffered cuts to his face and a broken cheekbone in what police called a cowardly attack.
Anderson said: “It is disgusting – drunk teenagers in broad daylight. Idiots. Who does that to an 87-year-old man? I want them to be found.”
Another neighbour, Fay Daniel, said the man and his wife were a lovely, quiet couple who took pride in the trees on their property. It was a terrible attack, she said.
Samantha Coombes, 17, who was the first to come to John’s aid, said: “I was quite shocked at the whole thing and I didn’t know what to do. I hope they’re caught.”
She saw two teenagers hanging around acting drunk, and the man try to chase them away. A girl also saw young men running down the road with a bamboo stick.
Detective Matt Campbell said the offender was described by witnesses as about 18, probably European, with a shaved head and wearing a black top, black three-quarter-length shorts and a black baseball cap.
“Whether or not he describes it as a simple push does not detract from the fact that an elderly gentleman has suffered serious injuries as a result of a foolish act,” he said. “The suspect needs to be held accountable and come forward and speak to police.”
Bolton Community Board member Michael Scott said: “Once found, there should be some restorative justice for the victims to meet the young people so they can put right the damage they have done – own up and front up.”