Two sisters have recalled urging a man not to fight in front of children before he threw liquid over two people outside a taxi office. Emergency services descended on Prestwich town centre after being called out at around 12.50pm today (February 10).
Police, paramedics and firefighters were all sent out to the scene. Poppythorn Lane, off Bury New Road, was taped off while enquiries took place around the Magnum Whiteline taxi office.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed an unknown substance was thrown onto a dad and his two-year-old girl following an altercation. Katherine and Ruth Nolan were sat outside Costa Coffee at the Radius building when the ordeal unfolded.
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The pair said a man, woman and child had been due to get into a taxi – while another woman and child were stood nearby – before another man ‘jumped the queue’ and got in the car. “There was a bit of an altercation about getting the next taxi,” said Katherine.
“It was the taxi for the family that the perpetrator jumped in. He said to the family guy ‘I will level you in front of your missus and the kid’.
“A fight broke out, a few punches were thrown. I was shouting ‘stop fighting, there’s kiddies there’. The lad that went to the taxi, went into a bag and got a bottle out with a squeezy top on and threw it all over them, including the baby.”
The sisters say they were given water to pour over the toddler and they told the dad to pour it over his head and take off his coat. They then phoned the emergency services for help.
Ruth said: “The baby’s screaming got me. We saw the thing being squirted. They didn’t know what to do with the baby… we said ‘pour water, pour water’.”
“We stayed with them trying to calm them down a bit,” added Katherine. “Eventually the police, fire and everybody else turned up.”
The offender was seen making off from the scene. He was wearing a black coat or hoodie with dark trousers at the time of the incident, the sisters said.
Officers spent a number of hours at the scene following the incident while an air ambulance was also seen in the area. The dad and his daughter were assessed, and GMP confirmed the substance had not been poisonous.
A spokesperson for the force said: “At around 12:50pm today (Friday, February 10 2023) officers were called to reports of an unknown substance being thrown on two pedestrians on Poppythorn Lane in Prestwich. Emergency services attended the scene to conduct medical assessments of the two victims and a thorough examination of the scene.
“Initial enquiries suggest an altercation occurred between two men outside a taxi rank, the suspect then got into a taxi and threw an unknown substance over the man and his child. This is believed to be an isolated incident and this individual does not pose a wider public threat.
“Officers are also now able to confirm the substance thrown on the victims is not noxious and the victims were medically examined at the scene as a precautionary measure.” Anyone with information or CCTV footage from the incident is urged to contact GMP on 101 or online, quoting log 1460 of February 10, 2023.
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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