Man left with stab wound after assault in Cheltenham
REFUSING to give someone a cigarette resulted in a man being stabbed in Cheltenham.
Detectives are investigating an assault in the town, which saw the man apparently being stabbed after being asked for a smoke by his attacker.
The assault happened as a 27-year-old Polish man, who lives in the Cheltenham, walked through Arle Gardens iearly in the morning.
The victim initially thought he had been hit in the back.
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But the man had to be taken to Cheltenham General Hospital after discovering a puncture wound on the left hand side of his back.
It is thought a knife was used in the incident and caused the wound, police said yesterday.
A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire police said the attacker ran off after committing the stabbing.
She added: "A 27-year-old local man was walking along Arle Gardens when he was approached by another man, who asked him for a cigarette. He responded that he did not have any, but the man assaulted him and ran off.
"The victim then discovered that he had a small puncture wound on his back."
Detectives insisted there was no need for members of the public to be unduly concerned as similar incidents did not happen very often in the town.
She said: "This is a very rare incident for the Cheltenham area.
"We would urge anybody who was in the area to get in touch if they haven't spoken to the police already."
The victim's injury, described as a stab wound by police, is not believed to be life threatening or life changing.
Police also believe the assault is not racially aggravated.
The incident took place between 2.15am and 2.30am on Sunday.
The offender was described as white, in his 20s, of medium build and around 5ft 5in tall.
He was also described as having an accent which was neither English nor Polish.
Cheltenham Borough Councillor Peter Jeffries (LD, Springbank), who is cabinet member for housing and safety, described the attack as shocking, but said the number of similar assaults was rare.
He added: "Obviously I am not aware of the specifics of the case. But generally I'm not aware of many cases of this nature happening in Cheltenham.
"However, I would urge the public to be vigilant. If anyone has any information they should contact the police."
Gloucestershire Constabulary has now urged any witnesses to contact them.
Anyone with any information about the incident should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 70 of September 16.
You can also give information anonymously by contacting the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org and you may receive a reward if someone is arrested and charged.