A “THUGGISH” cyclist who left a pensioner with a broken hip after a pavement confrontation in Boscombe is being hunted by police.

The 77-year-old Bournemouth man was walking past the George Fry electrical store at the corner of Christchurch Road and Parkwood Road at just after 9am on Saturday when a group of cyclists came by.

One of them, when told by the victim to stop riding on the pavement, knocked him to the ground causing serious injuries, before riding off towards Boscombe town centre.

As the Daily Echo went to press last night the offender was still at large.

Detective Sergeant Andy Bell, of Bournemouth CID, said the pensioner was being treated at Poole Hospital.

“The elderly victim requires surgery to treat his injuries and is facing a lengthy recovery,” he said.

“I am appealing for anyone who witnessed this incident, and anyone with any information about the man responsible, to contact me urgently.

“This area will have been busy at this time of the morning and I am keen to speak with anyone who can help me with this investigation.”

Ward councillor Phil Stanley Watts condemned the attacker. “This is terrible news, I hope the victim will make a full recovery,” he said.

“My colleagues and I have visited sheltered housing all around the area and time and time again the residents bring up their fear of cyclists on the pavement and in the precinct.

“The council is doing a lot to promote cycling at the moment, but that has to go hand in hand with encouraging better awareness of cycle safety in schools and youth centres.

“Also I would like to see a zero tolerance approach to riding on pavements from the police.”

Bournemouth cycling campaigner Mike Chalkley said it was “thuggish” behaviour.

“The majority of cyclists would never dream of doing something like this,” he said.

“Unfortunately some people come to see this as representing cyclists, but for someone with no respect for others it makes no difference whether they are on a bike, in a car or walking.”

The offender was described as white, wearing a grey hooded top with the hood up, riding a dark coloured bicycle.

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, quoting incident number 19:119. Alternatively, call the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.