Norfolk have-a-go hero helps homeless man in walking stick attack

Scene where the man was attacked.John Cowan who witnessed a homeless person being hit in the face wi

Scene where the man was attacked.John Cowan who witnessed a homeless person being hit in the face with a walking stick by a man on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich and pursued the perpetrator. Photo: steve Adams - Credit: Archant

A have-a-go hero businessman chased and tried to 'arrest' an attacker who hit a homeless man in the face with a walking stick.

John Cowan was so incensed by the 'unprovoked' attack on Prince of Wales Road that he pursued the man to Norwich railway station and attempted a citizens' arrest.

The attacker escaped, but dropped the walking stick weapon, which could give police crucial evidence to catch him.

Mr Cowan, team principal of Spirit Motorsport, was walking down Prince of Wales Road aftr a business networking meeting when he saw the man lash out at a homeless man who was sitting on the pavement near to Chicago's Rock Cafe.

Mr Cowan, 39, phoned police and checked the man was ok, before giving chase. The victim suffered a minor head injury.

Mr Cowan, from Barnham Broom, said he felt he needed to try and do something after seeing the attack happen right in front of him.

He said: 'About 10 metres ahead of me I saw a guy carrying a walking stick, totally unprovoked, take the walking stick and whack the homeless guy in the face and then walk off.

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'I was shocked. I was angry that someone would do that to someone completely unprovoked and also that anyone would do that in Norwich.

'I would like to think Norwich is a fine city and we don't have people going around randomly whacking homeless people across the face.

'It's not really acceptable behaviour.

'If a tourist had been here and seen that it wouldn't have given a very good image of Norwich.'

Although Mr Cowan did not succeed in restraining the suspect, who ran off, he hoped that police might be able to get useful evidence from the walking stick.

Police are investigating the attack which happened on Prince of Wales Road shortly before 7.50pm on Thursday.

Anyone with information should contact the Norwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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