Jogger (59) knifed at Roy Hesketh race track

2012-08-10 00:00

A DURBAN University of Technology senior lecturer has warned people using the old Roy Hesketh race track that they should be on guard for muggers there.

Graham Barratt (59), an environmental health studies senior lecturer, was robbed and stabbed while jogging at the track on Wednesday afternoon and had to walk more that 500 metres without his shoes to get help. He said he had to use his pepper spray on the two men who came out of the bush and attacked him.

“They came from behind. One grabbed my pants.

“At first I thought it was another runner playing with me, but when I turned, I realised that they were not runners.

“Then one pulled a knife and stabbed me in the ribs on my left. The other one was demanding a cellphone and cash, which I did not have with me, but I used my pepper spray on them.

“They kicked and pushed me to the ground, took my running shoes and then fled, leaving me bleeding,” said Barratt.

“I had to walk in my socks through the bushy racing track to the other side to ask for help. They took my shoes because they did not want me to chase them.”

This was not the first time he had been attacked there, he said. Last year robbers took his iPod, cellphone and watch.

Barratt, who has been jogging at the track for the past 30 years, believes it is unsafe for anyone to use.

The track is used by people for cycling on the track or in the bush, running and walking their dogs.

John Gray, who also uses the track and who is a friend of Barratt, told The Witness they had changed the lock on Barratt’s door and his gate remotes. “As I was walking at the track on Wednesday, someone told me that it’s no longer safe to walk alone as a girl had been attacked in the morning. When I heard that my friend was also attacked, I realised that this track is dangerous for us to use.”

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said Alexandra Road police were investigating a case of armed robbery.

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