Just after 11pm on Monday 15th October on Eastbourne Road, Uckfield not far from the A22 junction, WRAS founder Trevor Weeks MBE, was driving home after a rescue, when a car overtook his ambulance and pulled in front of him with hazard lights on. Trevor assumed that the person had a casualty or something – after previously having been stopped in similar ways. The white male thought to be in his early 30s and about 6ft tall got out of the dark coloured, old style, either Ford and Vauxhall hatchback type vehicle. Trevor got out to see what the problem was, expecting the person to raise concerns about a casualty, but before Trevor knew what was happening, the man grabbed Trevor by the throat, forcefully pinned him to the side of the ambulance and started demanding "Where are the drugs, give me your drugs".
Trevor trying to keep the situation calm and not to escalate the situation kept saying "We are not vets, we're a charity we don't carry drugs on board". After what seemed like ages, the person was clearly getting frustrated and gave up, pushed Trevor's head and neck back hard against the ambulance and ran to his car and sped off at speed.
Trevor called Sussex Police to report the incident and two officers attended on site before Trevor's partner Kathy Martyn came out and accompanied Trevor home. Sussex Police took a full statement from Trevor that night whilst the details were still fresh in his mind.
Unfortunately Trevor does not recall the registration number, but was aware that the vehicle was dirty and an old style ford or Vauxhall vehicle, dark in colour. The person was about 6ft tall, dark coloured hard, stubble on face and short hair which looked like it has previously been shaved and was growing out.
East Sussex WRAS is shocked by the incident and is now consulting with all its volunteers to review the safety of rescuers, especially at night. The charity which consists of over 50 volunteers and two part time paid staff working on minimum wage, will be discussing whether or not to stop night time rescues, but is reluctant to do so as night time casualties are normally more severe and in need of urgent help. Very few rescue organisation provide night time cover, and WRAS is one of the few organisation in East Sussex which does.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police.
Trevor was too shocked to attend work on Tuesday and would like to thank Kate, Jayden, Tony and Dave for all their help in covering. He would also like to thank Sussex Police for their support.
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Press Contacts: Trevor Weeks MBE - East Sussex WRAS: 01825 873003
BDMLR office: 01825-765546