BANGED TO RIGHTS
Had a great two hours this lunchtime on the Sandi Toksvig show on LBC. But then my day took a turn for the worse on my way back to Westminster... Here's a press release I've just issued...
Iain Dale, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for North Norfolk was at the centre of a dramatic road rage incident this afternoon (Wednesday), which culminated in Dale chasing after a man who had attacked his car and smashed his car window with a D-Lock metal bar window. With the help of a passer-by Dale apprehended the culprit and the Police were called. The man was arrested and charged with causing criminal damage. The attack caused a car window to be shattered and several dents were left in Dale's car. He estimates that the repair bill will be more than £1000. There were three witnesses to the attack and Dale spent nearly three hours at the Police Station making a statement. It just wasn't his day - while making the statement he received a parking ticket. The Police promised to help get it cancelled!
Iain Dale commented:
"On reflection it was a horrifying incident, but at the time you don't think - you just react to being attacked. I had tooted my horn to warn a cyclist that I was behind him. He had two supermarket bags on his handlebars and was swerving all over the road. At the next junction he caught up with me and slapped the roof of my car with his hand. I thought about stopping to remonstrate with him but decided not to and carried on with my journey. About a mile later I had stopped at some traffic lights and he appeared again beside my window. He was screaming abuse at me and wanted me to wind down my window. I declined. I was about to move off as the lights turned green when he produced a metal D-Lock and proceeded to hit my wing mirror with it. He then tried to smash the driver's side window and also hit the paintwork on the door frame and door. The window didn't smash. If it had done so I would have been badly injured. He then turned his attention to the rear window, which after two blows did indeed shatter. The man then proceeded to cycle off. I immediately leapt out of my car and gave chase. As I began to catch up with him I shouted to a passer by to help me stop him, which he did. We both grabbed his handlebars and prevented him from moving away. He continued to shout and scream while the Police were called. The Police arrived after only three minutes and immediately arrested the man, handcuffed him and put him in a police van. There were three witnesses to the incident, one of whom had followed me all the way and had himself noticed how erratically the cyclist was riding his bicycle. I am indebted to all three for coming forward and in particular to the man who put himself at risk to assist in apprehending the cyclist.
"Only four weeks ago I was the victim of another crime - in the same car - when my mobile phone was stolen. I just hope these things don't come in threes!"