Pensioner on crutches thrown off Hampstead bus by attacker

Victim Ron Vester. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Victim Ron Vester. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

A pensioner in need of a hip replacement was attacked by a man and thrown to the ground as he tried to step onto a bus in Hampstead.

Photographer Ron Vester, who has taken numerous photos for the Ham&High over the years, was attacked on the C11 bus in Agincourt Road on Saturday afternoon.

The 69-year-old was travelling on the C11 from his home in Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, towards Parliament Hill Fields around 1.30pm when he noticed a man shouting abusively at fellow passengers, telling them to get off the bus.

The man, described as 5ft 10in, heavily built, in his late 30s with dark skin, is alleged to have then lunged towards an elderly passenger who told him to stop shouting.

Mr Vester claims the driver then stopped the bus after the elderly passenger complained that he had been “hit in the face”.

Passengers, including Mr Vester, then began disembarking the bus only for the driver to start the bus up again.

At this point, Mr Vester said he attempted to re-board the bus and was met by his alleged attacker.

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He said: “As I stepped on, the guy stopped me and asked, ‘Are you a kid as well?’ I answered, ‘Do I look like a kid?’ He then grabbed both my shoulders and hurled me backwards.”

Mr Vester, who is on crutches, was thrown to the ground and required help to get back to his feet from a nearby witness.

“I’m having hip surgery so it doesn’t help,” he said. “My back and neck hurts and he’s made the pain in my hip and right foot more intense.”

While on the bus, Mr Vester managed to take a photograph of his attacker which he has given to police who are investigating.