Cyclist unable to smile after attack in Totterdown
A CYCLIST has been left with what could be permanent facial nerve damage after he was attacked as he rode his bike through Totterdown.
The victim had to have five stitches to treat cuts and is now unable to smile properly after three strangers attacked him and he was hit in the face with a weapon before they stole his Brompton bike.
The 39-year-old was on the Wells Road near Tesco Express at the St John's Lane junction at about 12.35am last Friday, when the attack happened.
Police have said the suspects – who were all white and in their late teens or early twenties – were last seen going past the Oxford Inn pub, on nearby Oxford Street.
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The first suspect was 5ft 9ins – 5ft 10ins tall, with a medium build and short, shaved dark hair. He was clean shaven and wearing dark, casual clothing.
The second robber was 5ft 8ins – 5ft 9ins tall, with an average build. He was wearing sandy-coloured trousers, a blue, sleeveless body warmer and black gloves.
The third suspect was about 5ft 7ins tall, with an average build and wearing dark clothing.
Detective Sergeant Mark Brain: "This was a nasty assault on a cyclist who was left with serious injuries as a result of the incident.
"The victim required five stitches on his face, suffered nerve damage and it is possible that the injury will stay with him for the rest of his life.
"Fortunately, this is an isolated incident and it is unusual to see someone assaulted in this way in order to steal a bike.
"I would like to reassure the community that we are investigating this incident and will do all we can to identify the people responsible.
"If anyone can help I would urge them to get in touch. I would also ask people to look out for a brown/gold lacquered Brompton bicycle and contact police if you see, or are offered one, in suspicious circumstances."
A "detailed" investigation has begun to identify the people responsible. Detectives are looking at CCTV footage taken in the area to see if they can shed any more light on what happened and who was responsible.
It is still unclear what type of weapon was used to hit the cyclist in the face.
Anyone who saw the robbery or the culprits leaving the area, or who knows the people responsible, should contact PC Chris Shaw or DS Brain on 101.
Alternatively, people can call the Crimestoppers charity, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.