TWO children have been left ‘traumatised’ after fleeing a man who tried to assault them inside a small corner shop.
Friends Kacey Boyton, nine, and Reggie Dyer, five, were shopping at the Premier store in College Street, Portsea, when a ‘dirty-looking man’ grabbed Reggie.
That night my son woke up five times screaming. It’s been horrible
Kacey shouted at the man, who she said was silently pulling her pal down the aisle of the store, and managed to free Reggie from his grip.
The youngsters then ran home where they burst into tears, their mothers have said.
Reggie’s horrified mum, Lisa Dyer, 30, said: ‘He came in and grabbed me and said: “Mummy, a man tried to grab me”. I have never seen him so upset.
‘That night he woke up five times screaming. It’s been horrible.’
The incident took place at 3.40pm on Wednesday afternoon. Police said they are investigating the assault, which they are not treating as an attempted abduction.
Vicky Boyton, Kacey’s mum, said her daughter had ‘changed completely’ since the disturbing incident.
The 32-year-old, who lives in the same block of flats as Reggie and Lisa, in Hanover Street, Portsea, said: ‘Kacey has been left traumatised.
‘That night she didn’t sleep well.
‘She was crying in her sleep saying “No, no, no”.
‘She is sleeping with me now. She doesn’t want to be on her own. She thinks somebody is going to come in and get her.
‘I keep telling her the house is locked and it’s fine.’
Vicky, who works as a breakfast and lunchtime assistant at the nearby St George’s Beneficial CofE Primary School, said the site has been alerted of the attack.
The man is described as white, in his 40s, with grey/white hair, a beard and a moustache. He was also wearing a green top, Mrs Dyer said.
Police are now appealing for witnesses to call them on 101, quoting 44170347135.
A spokesman for the force said: ‘We are investigating reports that a five-year-old boy was assaulted in the Portsea area of Portsmouth.
‘Between 3.30pm and 4pm on Wednesday, September 6, the boy and his friend were at the Premier Store in College Street when a man took hold of the boy’s shoulder and spun him round to face him.
‘The boy and his friend then fled the area uninjured.’