Police are hunting a cyclist who leaned into the window of an ambulance and spat in a paramedic's face.
The man was cycling past the ambulance when he suddenly leaned in through the window and spat at the paramedic before cycling off without saying a word.
The assault, which happened in Bristol, has been branded “deplorable” and “disgusting” by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).
The Trust and Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for help from the public to find the perpetrator of the attack in Croydon Street on 15 May.
The incident comes just weeks after a man after two paramedics were stabbed in Wolverhampton, leading to a man’s arrest.
Dave Manners, SWASFT’s Deputy County Commander for BNSSG (Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) said: “We condemn this deplorable assault on our paramedic while they were on duty driving an ambulance.
“Nobody should have to face this kind of disgusting behaviour, especially not a healthcare professional working tirelessly during a global health pandemic.
“Our people are there to help you, your family members and friends, often at the most difficult of times. Please join us in supporting the police appeal to find the person responsible for this attack on one of our family, and bring them to justice.”
The Trust said ambulance crews and control room staff reported 290 incidents during the first 10 weeks of lockdown from 23 March to 31 May, compared with 199 during the same time period in 2019.
Jenny Winslade, SWASFT Executive Director of Quality and Clinical Care, said: “We urge the public to respect our people.
“They demonstrate dedication and courage every day, putting their own health at risk for the sake of others. But sadly they face violence and aggression every day while they are trying to protect and save our patients’ lives, which is completely unacceptable.
“Any incident of violence and aggression can have serious consequences on them, their families and colleagues.
“We support whatever action is necessary to protect our staff from harm, and ensure those responsible for any attacks are prosecuted.”