A 33-year-old woman came within inches of death when a jogger shoved her into the path of a double-decker bus.
London – This was the horrifying scene as a woman came within inches of death when a jogger shoved her into the path of a bus.
The 33-year-old was on her way to work when the man barged her aside, sending her sprawling headfirst into the road as a double-decker London bus headed towards her.
The driver, travelling at about 12mph, swerved at the last second – narrowly missing the victim’s head as she lay inches from the bus’s wheels.
On Wednesday as police launched an appeal to trace the attacker, whom the woman had never seen, detectives were flooded with calls complaining about so-called ‘jogger rage’ in the capital.
Scotland Yard said that the heart-stopping footage had provoked an extraordinary response, prompting a series of calls from the public reporting similar incidents.
The woman, who does not want to be named, escaped without serious injury.
Her attacker brazenly ran past her on the same bridge 15 minutes after the incident, without saying a word to her.
Stunned, she called out and tried to stop him. But the runner ignored her and sprinted off without a backward glance.
On Wednesday Sergeant Mat Knowles said that the victim had been traumatised by the attack at 7:40am on Putney Bridge in West London on Friday May 5.
He said: ‘At this point she is the only person on the pavement. The footpath is eight to ten feet wide – there is plenty of room. This is a deliberate act on his behalf. His hands come across and push her. She does not know this man. She walks this way to the Tube to go to work every day and has never seen him.
‘If it wasn’t for the quick reactions of the bus driver it could have been a very different situation. It was a very near miss.
‘When you look at how close it was, this footage is quite harrowing. She obviously doesn’t know what the motivation was. It has had a real impact on her life.
‘She suffered from some back pain, but psychologically it will have a longer lasting impact.’
Moments before the attack, the culprit ran through a crowded bus stop on the Fulham side of the bridge without hitting anyone.
Police believe he headed down Putney High Street after crossing the bridge, before disappearing down a side street and looping back 15 minutes later to cross the river again.
The jogger did not stop to ask after the victim, who was on her own by this time as the bus driver and passengers who helped her to her feet had driven off. The jogger was last seen sprinting towards Fulham, where police believe he may live.
The officer added: “When he came back 15 minutes later she was in shock. She tried to engage him in conversation but he just ran on straight past her. He never looked back. He just carried on going.”
The victim has changed her route to work as she is terrified he could strike again.
Officers are trying to identify whether the attack is connected to any other incidents.
They have examined CCTV footage from two passing buses which captured the attack as well as images from around the bridge in a bid to determine the jogger’s route.
Hours after the police appealed for information on Wednesday, there were a number of complaints about ‘aggressive joggers’ on Putney Bridge, as well as elsewhere in the capital.
Referring to the calls about other incidents of jogger rage, Sergeant Knowles said: “It is perhaps more prevalent than I had first thought. Perhaps the offence is being under-reported.”
A source from bus company Go Ahead London told MailOnline: “The driver was doing 12mph which is why it was not as serious as it could have been.”
“It is just shocking, the entire top half of this woman was in the road very close to the bus’s front tyres and this man just ran off.”
The jogger is described as in his early to mid-30s, with brown eyes and short brown hair.
Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone who recognises him to get in touch. They should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Jeremy Vine has been criticised for suggesting that a jogger who pushed a woman in front of a bus must have been a banker.
However the BBC presenter was on Wednesday accused of trivialising the attack, after he set up an online poll to guess the profession of the jogger.
He only gave three options for the unidentified man’s job, all of which were in finance. It prompted accusations that he was being ‘prejudicial’ and fuelling stereotypes.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen described Vine’s tweet as a ‘huge lack of judgment’, adding that he should not have used the attack in West London to start a ‘class war’.
Vine, who is on holiday from his Radio 2 lunchtime show, also faced criticism from some of his 638 000 Twitter followers. They said the poll was ‘bad taste’, ‘very insulting’ and an unsuitably ‘frivolous’ way to approach such a serious subject.
The presenter was recently revealed to be one of the highest earners at the BBC, taking home up to £750 000 (about R13 million) last year, and many of his followers suggested that his attack on those on high salaries was ill-timed.
The 52-year-old deleted the tweet after it had been online for four hours.
Police have launched an appeal to trace the attacker, who was caught on CCTV pushing the woman off the pavement as she walked to work across Putney Bridge in May.