A woman who was attacked without warning as she tried to protect her company’s coach today told of the terrifying moment a thug stabbed her with her own pen.
Cynthia Bell, who has organised coach trips to Blackpool for the past 40 years, was confronted by the man and, as she put her hands up to defend herself, he plunged the pen into her arm.
The 66-year-old was alone on the coach, which was parked on Seasiders Way, waiting for passengers to return when three people – a man and two young women – got on board.
She said: “The engine was running to keep the air conditioning on and my fear was they were going to try and drive off with the coach.
“They were mouthing off when the man just picked up the pen and stabbed me.
“If I hadn’t put my arms up, it could have gone in my face or my chest – I don’t know what would have happened.”
The trio ran off empty-handed, leaving Mrs Bell with the pen sticking out of her arm for 15 minutes until paramedics were able to dislodge it.
The vehicle was parked in the coach park on Seasiders Way, waiting to pick up around 50 people who were in the resort for a day-trip, when the incident happened at around 5pm on August 24.
The man was loitering around the driver’s area when Mrs Bell told him to leave.
She said: “I think it’s disgusting – what right do they have to invade anybody’s space?
“He thought it was OK to get on the bus and start mouthing off and then attack me.
“They were all mouthing off a bit, asking where we were going next.
“The first girl got off but the other one grabbed for the wheel so I pushed her away.
“Then he picked the pen up and stabbed me without any warning or anything.
“I had never seen him before in my life.”
Police are now hunting Mrs Bell’s attacker, who ran off towards Chapel Street.
Det Sgt Mark Dickinson, of Blackpool CID, said, “As you can see from Mrs Bell’s photograph, significant force must have been used by offender who stabbed her.
“She was lucky to have escaped without serious blood loss or any nerve damage.
“We are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry including CCTV and forensic opportunities.
“I am particularly keen to identify and speak with two young women who were with the offender and I would ask them, or anyone who recognises them from their descriptions, to contact me as soon as possible.”
The man is described as a white male, 6ft, of a stocky build in his late teens or early twenties with short dark hair.
The women were both white. One wore a pink top with a floral pattern, and had a pushchair. She walked with a limp.
The other had blonde hair and wore a cream jumper. She had a tattoo on the right side of her lower stomach on display.
Anyone with information should call Blackpool CID on 101.