A YOUNG woman was left scrambling to safety on her hands and knees in the middle of rush-hour traffic after a hooded stranger punched her into the road.

Blinded by headlights, she found herself lying in the road with cars quickly heading towards her.

The frightening ordeal started 30 minutes earlier when she was getting on a bus outside the Asda supermarket in Chandler’s Ford.

As she stood in the queue the man in front of her was refusing to pay for a ticket, arguing with the driver of the No 1 Bluestar bus from Winchester.

Eager to get home to get ready for a surprise meal she had organised for her partner’s birthday and to help the bus driver, she intervened and politely asked the man to get off the bus if he wasn’t going to pay as he was holding up everyone in the queue.

As he still refused to get off, the bus driver allowed her and the other passengers on and she brushed passed the man as she made her way to the top deck.

Moments later he suddenly appeared and sat behind her, staring at her throughout the 20-minute journey into Southampton city centre.

She nervously got off in Civic Centre Road but to her horror the man followed her.

Scared, she rushed into Maynards newsagents and told the shop worker that she was being followed.

After five minutes the man couldn’t be seen so she left and headed towards Above Bar Street, but within seconds he jumped out of the darkness and grabbed her, shouting at her for pushing past him on the bus.

Apologising, the woman tried to get away but the man punched her, causing her to fall and hit her head on the road.

It was only thanks to the help of a passer-by that she was able to get back to the pavement before she was hit by oncoming traffic.

The woman has suffered a suspected broken nose, leaving her with two black eyes, a bang to the back of the head and pain in her arms and shoulders.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack, at 4.30pm on January 8, to come forward.

  • The attacker is black, aged 20-25, 5ft 10in and slim with with a wide nose.

He was dressed in black, wearing a hoodie with a red zip with the hood up.

  • Anyone with information can contact PC James Lindley at Southampton Central police station on 101.