Appeal to catch smoking thug

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A COURAGEOUS teenager suffered a vicious assault after confronting a thug on a bus.

The 15-year-old from Fleetwood had his face stamped on and had to go to hospital after going to the help of the bus driver who had asked a passenger not to smoke.

Police have released an Evofit image (below) of a man they want to speak to in connection with the shocking attack.

PC Dave Simmons from Fleetwood Police said: “This is a very serious assault on a young boy and the man responsible needs to be caught.

“I would appeal to anybody that was on the bus at the time of the incident and hasn’t yet spoken to police to contact us.

“I would also ask people to take a close look at the Evofit and if they recognise this man please get in touch.”

Violence broke out on the Number 14 Blackpool Transport bus on November 25 as it travelled down Poulton Road, Fleetwood, just after 6.10pm.

The 15-year-old boy was among several passengers who confronted a man about his smoking on the bus.

PC Simmons added: “When challenged, the man has become verbally abusive and the boy has gone to inform the driver.

“The man has then tried to leave the bus but was stopped by the victim due to his behaviour.

“He then struck the boy in the stomach causing him to fall to the floor and then stamped on his face before exiting the bus.”

The youngster had severe swelling around his nose and face and had to be kept in Blackpool Victoria Hospital before being released the following day.

The thug police want to speak to is described as white, in his 30s and of stocky build. He is around 5ft 5in tall with a shaven head.

At the time of the incident he was wearing a black military style double breasted coat, black trousers and black shoes or trainers.

Anyone with information is urged to call Lancashire Police on 08451 253545 or 0800 555111.