A POPULAR lollipop man who has helped Coventry schoolchildren cross the road for over 14 years has been left injured after a robber pushed him to the ground and stole his road sign.
The school crossing patrol man, who travels ten miles every day to various school sites across Coventry, is a friendly face to hundreds of youngsters and parents across the city.
But, yesterday (Wednesday, January 21), the 82-year-old was left shocked when an unfamiliar man attacked him as he saw a group of school children safely from Gosford Park Primary School, All Saints Church of England Primary School and Coventry Blue Coat School, on Humber Avenue.
The pensioner was stood on the roadside, near to the Humber Pub and a care home, at 3.45pm when he helped a group of parents and youngsters across the road.
As they went on their way a man walked up to the lollipop man, who does not wish to be named, and shouted at him, whilst trying to grab his lollipop stick.
Detective Inspector Gareth Mason said this was a senseless offence against an elderly man, who was carrying out a public duty.
He added: “The pensioner has done this job for over 14 years and he was not prepared to just hand over his treasured crossing sign.
“He refused to let go and ended up in a struggle with his assailant, ultimately leading to the robber pushing his elderly victim to the floor before running off with the lollipop stick.
“Since the attack the victim has been too distressed and shaken by what happened to return to work − something that has devastated him after so many years of devoted service.
“He also suffered injuries to his left side as a result of the fall.
“It is only through fortune that the injuries were not more serious.”
The offender is described as a white man, around 6ft 2in tall, of athletic build, in his late 20s to early 30s, with bushy or thick hair.
He was wearing dark clothing.
Following the robbery a kind-hearted passer by spotted a blue Vauxhall Vectra car driving away and stopping in a nearby street, where three men got out, one of whom was carrying the lollipop stick.
He bravely confronted them and was able to get the stick back for the lollipop man.
Anyone with information should call the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.