Police called to Stevenage park over dog poop incident

PUBLISHED: 06:58 12 September 2019

Dog owner Sarah Lawrence says she was assaulted in Stevenage's St Nicholas Park. Picture: Sarah Lawrence

Dog owner Sarah Lawrence says she was assaulted in Stevenage's St Nicholas Park. Picture: Sarah Lawrence

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A pet owner who confronted a man in a Stevenage park for not picking up his dog's excrement says she was shocked when he turned around and struck her.

Sarah Lawrence was walking her two dogs in St Nicholas Park last Thursday morning when she noticed another dog walker failing to clear up his pooch's poop. She said: "I saw this chap with his dog and I could see he wasn't picking the mess up. I called to him and he just kept walking. I told him repeatedly that he needed to pick up after his dog.

"In the end I picked it up myself and took the full bag to him. I tried to hand him the bag, but he backed away. I told him it was his responsibility.

"I went to put my hand in my handbag to get my phone and take a photo of him and he struck me, knocking the phone out of my hand. It was totally unacceptable."

Sarah called the police to report the assault and officers attended the scene.

She said: "I was really shocked by what happened. I didn't feel vulnerable approaching him because there were lots of people around, but I didn't expect him to lash out.

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"You should pick up after your own dog - all the people I know do.

"We are so lucky to have this park on our doorstep and we try to keep it nice, especially because children play there."

Asked if the incident had put her off walking her dogs in St Nicholas Park in future, she said: "Absolutely not. I won't be deterred by somebody else's poor behaviour."

Sarah's Facebook post about the incident resulted in an outpouring of support for her. She said: "Facebook isn't brilliant for everything, but when you need a virtual hug it's there 100 per cent. Thank you everyone."

One man said: "Such poor attitudes by the minority of dog walkers ruins it for all.

"This individual I hope will be spoken to by the police for his aggressive behaviour.

"Picking up dog poop is, of course, not pleasant, but there are many bins provided, so there are no excuses."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Hertfordshire police on non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number 41/80589/19. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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