Pensioner Gets Arrested for Shouting at Youth

A pensioner who stepped in to stop youths throwing stones at ducks on a canal was arrested by police.

Bill Marshall was expecting officers to investigate his complaints about being repeatedly taunted by the gang. Instead the 73-year-old great-grandfather was taken to a cell and accused of attacking the teenagers.

Mr Marshall, who has a heart condition and diabetes, was left distressed and angered by the arrest.

The retired miner said that he thought the police had been responding to his complaints about anti-social behaviour by some local youths.

“I was quite happy to invite the officer in but then he said I was being arrested and taken to the station accused of assault,” Mr Marshall said.

“I thought it was a joke at first but then I realised he was perfectly serious.

“The officer ordered me to take the laces out my shoes as I was being arrested for common assault. I didn’t know what to think. One of the yobs said I had hit him and so they took his word against mine. I might have lost my temper and shouted at them, but I did not hit anybody.

“I just lost my temper – I think any normal human being would have done after being spoken to like that.

“There’s a different mentality out there these days and you have to be so careful what you say. There is no respect these days, particularly for older people. It took 73 years for an idiot to put me in jail. All I did was try to stop these louts throwing rocks at the ducks on the canal.

“I felt degraded spending time in that cell. I can’t believe I ended up in jail at my age. I’ve never seen the inside of a cell before and I don’t want to see it again. The police seemed to automatically assume I was guilty instead of talking to me first.”

Mr Marshall of Worksop, Notts, had complained to police that he and his wife, Margaret, 72, had been targeted by the gang in recent months. He said: “It started for us with kids ringing the doorbell. When my wife opened the door one of the boys was making really lewd gestures.”

Mr Marshall’s brush with the law began a week before Christmas, when he spotted the group of teenage boys throwing bricks at the ducks as he walked along the banks of the Chesterfield Canal.

He shouted at them to stop. He said he received abuse from the gang and shouted back in anger but did not touch or hit any of them.

When police arrived at his home two weeks later he assumed it was in response to complaints he had made about anti-social behaviour in the village.

He was shocked to be arrested and taken off to the police cells. After waiting two hours for a duty solicitor to arrive, Mr Marshall was interviewed by officers who later released him pending further inquiries.

Now police have dropped any charges and apologised.

Chief Insp Glenn Harper of Nottinghamshire Police said the arresting officer acted correctly but added: “I will ensure the necessary training needs are addressed.”

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