POLICE have stepped up patrols after two dog walkers were attacked by a man who made threats to kill them.
The unprovoked assaults took place just weeks apart in Havant Cemetery, off Eastern Road.
It was 6.30pm on February 2 when the first attack took place. The victim, 49, who does not want to be identified, said: ‘I walked through the gate on the Eastern Road and hanging off the gate was a dog lead.
‘I took it off to see who it belonged to and a guy appeared at the gate and, very calmly, said “is this a dog walking place?”
‘I explained that it was a cemetery but dogs are allowed to be walked in there and he launched into a filthy torrent of abuse about dog walkers.
‘He was absolutely screaming at me, swearing and saying that dog walkers should show respect.
‘He stepped towards me and spat in my face. I put my hands up towards his chest to put a barrier between us to walk past him but he bent down to grab my dog.
‘I managed to barge past him but he got hold of the collar of my coat and tried to pull me to the ground.
‘I grabbed hold of the gate and eventually, when he realised I wasn’t going to let go, he walked off over the railway bridge towards Denvilles.’
The victim remonstrated with the attacker who turned back again and screamed ‘I will kill your family’ – and other disgusting abuse.
It is believed to be the same man who threatened him with a brick in the same cemetery in November 2013. That man was never caught.
On February 18, at 7.30am, a 65-year-old was attacked.
The victim, who also does not want to be named, said: ‘He came steaming up to me with abuse, abuse, abuse, ranting, “is this a place to walk dogs?”.
‘I refused to run away and faced up to him.
‘He was going on about dogs weeing on graves. Then he spat at me.
‘I carried on walking and he followed me very fast, with what I can only describe as troll-like movements.
‘He swung a punch at me, knocked my hat off and screwed it up.’
He added: ‘I am very angry about it. Lots of people have changed their walk route since then, as have I.’
There is also a report of a man being attacked in nearby Warblington Cemetery.
Police have not had this officially reported to them although they have been told about it through third parties.
The first victim said: ‘My fear is he is going to really hurt someone next time. He is going to get worse.’
The attacker is about 30, 5ft 10in with an athletic build, and wore workman boots and trousers, and a dark jacket.
Police say patrols have been stepped up in the area.
Anyone with information should contact PC Kate Adlem on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.