A woman was pulled to the ground with her own walking stick – which was hooked around her neck by a ‘drugged up or drunk’ assailant in a seemingly random attack.
The 50-year-old was walking outside Santander in Blackpool town centre with a friend when she was attacked at around 4.40am on Sunday.
Her male friend, also 50, was hurt as he tried to protect her as she lay on the ground injured, police said.
The attack is being treated as random and may have been caught on camera by revellers using their mobile phones, detectives revealed.
Det Sgt Steve Harry, from Blackpool CID, said: “It was over fairly quickly but it must have felt like a life time to this poor woman.”
CCTV cameras are being scrutinised as officers hunt the assailant, who was heard yelling about her ‘own personal difficulties’, moments before the attack, which happened in Clifton Street.
She was described as being around 5ft 4ins, in her late 20s or early 30s, with long brown hair, and white but with a fairly tanned complexion.
Det Sgt Harry said: “A woman with a walking stick was walking with a friend in the town centre when she was assaulted by a lone female assailant, who has taken the woman’s walking stick off her, hooked it around her neck, pulled her to the ground with it, and then kicked her.
“There is some suggestion there may have been witnesses in the area at the time, and that some of the assault has been recorded on someone’s mobile phone.
“That will be of real interest to us if someone has managed to record it.
“The victim did go to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and was released at 11am the following morning.
“Fortunately, she did not suffer serious injuries. She had cuts and bruises and needed stitches, but did not have any broken bones.”
Det Sgt Harry said there was ‘no obvious motive’ for the assault, and confirmed the victim and attacker did not know each other, ruling out a personal grievance.
He also said there was nothing to suggest it was a street robbery gone wrong, with no demands for cash or valuables made.
“The assailant appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, or drugs, or both, so it looks like an alcohol or drug influenced attack.” he said.
“She was shouting beforehand about some personal difficulties and could have been venting some anger.”
A 50-year-old man was also hurt while trying to protect his friend, but did not suffer serious injuries, police added.
Det Sgt Harry said: “The woman was on the ground being tended to and they did not note the direction the assailant went off in, but we are looking at CCTV.”
The woman, who was on a night out when she was set upon, was too poorly to be interviewed by officers on Sunday, but was due to give a statement yesterday.
Anybody with information has been asked to call police on 101, quoting log reference number 269 of Sunday, March 6, 2016.
Alternatively, details can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or crimestoppers-uk.org