Police are calling for the man who brutally assaulted an 88-year-old grandfather in Sydney’s south over the weekend to turn himself in.
Oyster Bay resident Eric Johnson was standing on the balcony of his home on Green Point Road drinking a glass of milk at about 10:30 pm on Sunday night when he saw a white van pull up outside.
The 88-year-old observed a man get out of the car and walk down the road while leaving two girls – reportedly aged between 8 and 12 inside the vehicle.
After waiting a short time Mr Johnson walked out to check if the two girls were okay at which time the driver of the van returned to his van shouting.
The driver of the van – described as an older model white van with PVC piping attached to the roof – then punched Mr Johnson to the ground before speeding off.
Mr Johnson was taken to Sutherland Hospital where he suffered numerous fractures to his pelvis as well as severe bruising and cuts to his face.
An investigation is underway into the octogenarian’s assault.
Mr Johnson’s grandson Dale Ross told Fairfax Media his grandfather is struggling with his loss of independence.
"Obviously he’s not great," Mr Ross said. "He's used to being independent and taking care of himself. The idea of someone having to take care of him he’s not happy about.
"He’s from a different era to us so the idea of a car stopping outside and someone being in distress naturally he wanted to help.
"It’s frustrating to think he’s not safe at his own house and doing something he thinks is normal.
"We want them just to come forward. There’s obviously two sides to every story and just to come forward and make their side known."
A neighbour, who described Mr Johnson as “the most gentle man you could ever meet”, told news.com.au the attack has left her shaken.
“I’ll never forget, as long as I live, the slamming of that door and him revving that engine,” said the woman, who would like to be known as Jenny.
“I’ve been going over it in my mind and this morning I woke up at half past two and I didn’t get back to sleep as was just thinking ‘had I missed something?’ The what-ifs.”
Sutherland Police commander Superintendent Julian Griffiths told local reporters the attack was “a particularly concerning assault”.
"At 88 years of age he was in no condition to be in an aggressive confrontation with anyone," Mr Griffiths said.
"It’s a particularly concerning assault. I think the community would be equally concerned about it and that’s why we’re appealing to members of the public. Ultimately someone knows something about this incident and it’s those people we are seeking for their assistance."
Police said the suspect is about 185cm tall, with a slim to medium build and possibly speaking with an Australian accent.
Anyone with information is being urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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