“I was terrified”: Alexandra Palace closes boating lake after spate of people pushed in

Picture: Corinne Sweet/Alexandra Palace

Picture: Corinne Sweet/Alexandra Palace - Credit: Picture: Corinne Sweet/Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace has closed its boating lake after a spate of people were pushed in, including one “terrified” Muswell Hill writer.

Police confirmed the three reports on March 26 and 27, with one man in his 50s allegedly pushed in as a group filmed the ordeal.

Corinne Sweet, a writer who has lived near Alexandra Palace for 20 years, said she was enjoying a calm evening stroll before her assailant struck.

“Suddenly, behind me I heard footsteps running at a pace,” she said.

“I thought a runner was passing and then I felt an absolute whack in the middle of my back, a two-handed punch really, and then a ‘ha ha ha’ from a male voice.

“I went flying into the water – I literally dived, face down, splat into the water.”

Corinne said it took several attempts to get out of the lake in her state of shock and physical pain.

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When she emerged, she said she saw a man in a green parka standing in the distance with a scooter.

Corinne continued: “I was absolutely freezing and dripping wet.

“I was shivering, almost half-running, half-hobbling, hoping I was going to get home before I got pneumonia. I was terrified”

Corinne said she was “completely purple” when she arrived back home and had grazes and bruises all over her.

As an asthma sufferer, she was worried the incident might trigger an attack.

“I haven’t felt angry, so much as sad,” Corinne said.

“It feels very feral this behaviour and it feels like people who are very dispossessed, detached, angry and disenfranchised are wreaking revenge on society.”

Following Corinne’s attack, Alexandra Palace confirmed to this newspaper it had closed the lake “for the time being”.

A spokesperson said: “It is beyond frustrating that this has happened and the stupidity of those putting people in danger like this is staggering.”

The palace asked people who still use the park, which remains open, to comply with social distancing measures.

Corinne said she “loved” the “wonderful” Alexandra Palace and, having invited neighbours to join a walk of solidarity against local crime, she would not be deterred from returning to “reclaim” one of her favourite spots.

However she admitted the attack had “marred” her usual place of solace and calm.

Have you been the victim of a recent crime in Muswell Hill? Call the Ham&High’s reporter Michael Boniface on 07805 403 545 or email michael.boniface@archant.co.uk