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Police move to reassure after man throws water at women in Bushy Park, Kingston Bridge
A man who has been throwing water at women in Bushy Park may have mental health issues, police have said.
Several women made complaints to police about the distressing incidents and the trend for water throwing showed up on social networking websites in the past few weeks.
Police have since confirmed the man has been identified but, due to his learning difficulties, the incidents would not be treated as assault.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "He is a man who has learning difficulties and mental health issues. It would not be in the public interest to be treating this an assault.
"The victims will need to be informed in terms of the individual."
Most incidents have occurred in Bushy Park but other water-chucking attacks have taken place on Kingston Bridge and at Dukes Head Passage in Hampton.
Park users and mothers spoke of their shock and anger of the incidents on Facebook.
Monica Farragher posted: "Speaking as a mum who walks around with her baby in a pram in this neighbourhood often, this is scary."
Chris Kent said: "Some bizarre people around. I'm just glad it's only water and not something nasty like acid."
Caroline Cadle, from Hampton, described on a local community Facebook page how she was targeted twice in Bushy Park.
She posted: "Got me by the HAMPTON GATE but tried to get me in the WOODLAND GARDENS. I assume he's refilling the bottle from the fountains either by the pheasantry cafe or the play ground area. He had no bag, only 1 bottle & the water was cold. I may hang out there with some mace & a taser".
Another user, Mary Hodson, commented on how her daughter was attacked by the man on Wednesday, July 9.
She wrote: "She's only 17 and was, understandably, very distressed. To be honest, I think she's glad she's spoken to the police: feels like she's back in charge."
- Have you had water thrown over you in Bushy Park or indeed any other part of Richmond? Let us know by calling 020 8722 6330 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.