A woman has been pushed into a river in Edinburgh while riding her bike on the path alongside it – the latest in a series of similar incidents in the Scottish capital.
Police Scotland, who have issued a description of the suspect, are stepping up patrols along the Water of Leith in response to the latest incident, reports the Edinburgh Evening News.
The newspaper says that the assault happened at around 7pm yesterday evening between Colinton and Slateford in the southwest of the city.
According to one of several witnesses, the man appeared to be drunk, and had been seen shouting at other people on the shared-use path, and after pushing the cyclist shouted, “You shouldn't have done that,” then made off from the scene.
The witness said that another person who saw the incident helped the cyclist out of the water.
“We all stayed with her to make sure she was okay,” the witness said.
“A lady asked if the victim wanted to use her phone to call the police or her friends or family, as her phone was soaked with water, but she said she was alright. She insisted to bike home as her place was not far.”
“She told us that she tried to avoid the guy and make her way through, but he was in the way and looked pissed to see her coming his way, and then he pushed her in there.
“She was crying at him, ‘Why did you do that?’ when she was trying to stand up in the water.”
Sergeant Scott Walker of Edinburgh policing said: “Officers are aware of a number of incidents between Monday, 18 April and Wednesday, 27 April, 2022 in which people have been pushed into a canal.
“In connection with our enquiries, we are searching for a white man in his sixties with a possible tanned complexion. He is between 5ft 7in and 5ft 10in, is of medium to stocky build with grey and balding hair.
“He was wearing dark clothing and was seen in a maroon jumper on Wednesday, 27 April.
“There will be increased patrols in the area,” Sergeant Walker added. “Anyone with information should contact police on 101.”
Running alongside or close to the river for around 12 miles from Balerno to Leith on the Firth of Forth, the Water of Leith walking and cycling path includes sections of paved path, dirt track and cobblestones, with the initial section to Slateford running along the route of a disused railway line.
By far the most popular section of the path is the part that runs along the western edge of the city’s Georgian New Town from Dean Village to Stockbridge, with the riverside path often highlighted in tourist guidebooks as one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.