Cyclist shoved into canal by group of 10 teenagers

Sophie Watson was attacked by a group of boys on bikes, who then cycle away laughing

Police tape
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A cyclist was shoved into a canal by a group of 10 teenagers.

The 26-year-old woman was cycling in Birmingham when she was approached by a group of boys who pushed her into the water and laughed.

Sophie Watson told Sky News that she had been contacted by five other women who had suffered similar experiences, while police said they have also received a number of other reports.

She said: "I'm now feeling apprehensive about cycling in secluded areas, but then I'm mostly forced to mingle with motor traffic.

"I'm concerned they were attacking women and I'm worried other women will stop cycling altogether. Women cycle at a ratio of 1:3 to men in Birmingham."

Ms Watson suffered bruises to her legs and ankles after the fall.

The incident happened at around 6.30pm on Friday (June 12) as Ms Watson cycled towards Birmingham city centre near Edgbaston Park Road.

She saw a group of eight to 10 teenagers, aged between 14 and 16 riding towards her.

The group stopped at the side of the towpath and as Ms Watson rode passed she was pushed into the water, the boys then cycling away laughing towards the city centre.

West Midlands Police said that a second cyclist was pushed into the water in the same area on Friday evening and officers have also seen further reports of similar incidents on social media.

Police are investigating the incidents and officers are carrying out regular patrols in the area.

Anyone with information about who is responsible for these attacks is urged to get on touch with West Midlands Police, using reference 20BW/136078G/20.

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.