A paraglider accused of ‘abusive and hostile’ behaviour in a seaside town has hit back at the claims branding them ‘lies’.
Sussex Police launched an appeal for witnesses as they investigate claims that a man has been waging a two year reign of terror on Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex.
A force spokesperson said: ‘Over the past two years Sussex Police has received reports of the para-glider causing criminal damage, obstructing the highway, being abusive and hostile towards members of the public and generally behaving in an anti-social manner.
‘It has also been alleged he intimidates people by flying low over the seafront.’
However a man identifying himself as the paraglider called into a popular radio station and denied flying low to annoy people.
Claiming to have been paragliding for 25 years he dismissed the complaints.
‘I'm a free-flying spirit and I live to fly and fly to live,’ the man told LBC radio host James O'Brien, who addressed the caller as Paul.
Asked if he was intimidating people on the seafront, he laughed and said: ‘No. I'm just there to fly.
‘I fly low because I'm a paraglider pilot flying a hill which is exempt from the 500ft rule. Hill-soaring is hill-soaring.’
The man uses Galley Hill, Bexhill-on-Sea, as a launch site.
Sussex Police's probe is being carried out in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority.
Sergeant Simon Barden of Sussex Police said: ‘We'd like to hear from anyone who has seen or experienced aggressive or disturbing approaches from this man.’
A spokesman for Rother District Council said it has had ‘numerous interactions with him over recent years’.
He went on: ‘Most recently we received a complaint in July from a member of the public who felt endangered when he was taking off from Galley Hill.
‘Our staff have also witnessed him flying low along the seafront in Bexhill.
‘Coastal staff have been advised not to approach him but to collect evidence and report any incidents to the police.
‘There is a bylaw restricting taking off and landing along the area of the seashore and we're currently collecting evidence of any contraventions and we will liaise with the police to support their investigation.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police online or phone 101 and quote Operation Surfer.