A THUG spat in the face of a 10-year-old girl in what police have called a “racially motivated” attack.
Officers investigating have described the youngster’s ordeal as a “sickening assault on an innocent girl”.
She had been out walking her dog in Hartlepool when she walked close to a shaven-headed man who shouted abuse at her before threatening her and then spitting in her face.
The girl was passing between Redworth Walk and Burbank Court, towards Burbank Street in Hartlepool, at around 3.45pm on Wednesday when the 6ft attacker struck.
Police are now appealing for help to catch the man, who is thought to be around three times the age of the girl.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said officers are treating the incident as “racially motivated” and appealed for any witnesses or anyone who may know the identity of the man to contact PC Graeme Richardson, of Hartlepool Police.
She added: “This is a sickening assault on an innocent young girl.
“We would urge anyone who may know the identity of the man or anyone with any further information to contact police.”
The man is described as white, aged around 30 years old, of slim build, around 6ft and with a shaven head.
He is said to have spoken with a local accent and was wearing a red and black chequered jacket, blue jeans and red basketball boots.
PC Richardson can be contacted on the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.