A dad and his three-year-old daughter suffered a disgusting attack yesterday when a teenager spat into his hand and smeared it on the girl’s face, claiming he was infected with Coronavirus.
Matthew Batty, 28, was returning from his local premier in Darfield during the attack. He decided to take a longer route so his daughter, Alice-Rose, could look at the NHS rainbows on display in house windows.
Four youths were loitering on bikes which led Matthew to explain to Alice-Rose that she couldn’t play out on her bike because of the ‘nasty bugs’ and that the boys shouldn’t be out. The little girl then shouted at the group which began a confrontation.
“Any normal person would have laughed it off, but they didn’t take it lightly at all,” he said.
The group began swearing and threatening the pair as they walked away. Matthew felt someone spit at his back and when he turned around one of the boys had spat into his hand and wiped it down Alice-Rose’s face.
“As you can imagine, I saw red. He said ‘I’ve got Corona. Mind your own f***ing business next time’.”
The other boy then tried to steal his shopping bag which only contained a fizzy drink, milk and sugar. Matthew also got aggressive but felt he was disciplined enough to deal with the situation. The group then ran back to their bikes while he picked up his distraught daughter and went home.
“I’ve got family friends who have lost people because of Corona. I’ve taken every precaution possible and then for those lads to do that, it’s just absolutely disgusting,” he said.
“Alice-Rose and my other three-month-old are my world. She was really shaken up and my wife wiped her face and that. About an hour later she was alright but then we asked if she wanted to come out into the garden. She started crying and said that she didn’t want the naughty boys to get her. It broke our hearts.”
Matthew said he was glad it was him that was harassed and not someone more vulnerable.
“What if someone from the older generation went and said, ‘look lads, social distancing, what are you doing out?’ They would have left them on a pulp on the floor.”
“It’s part of the gang culture of today. They’ve got no respect for nobody.”
Due to the attack being nearby a school on Pinfold Lane, there is no CCTV of the incident. Mr Batty described the four boys as between the ages of 14-17 wearing dark tracksuits. One was riding a bright orange bike. Investigations are ongoing and anyone with additional information should contact South Yorkshire Police.
“Some of the parents around here, they don’t care. They’ll say to them ‘get out of the house you are doing my head in’ and they come out and just run riot. It’s just that culture today.”