A much-loved fast food delivery man from Whitby was attacked by two masked robbers on Halloween.
Paul Emmerson is 73 and has been working at Porto Pizza in Windsor Terrace for 17 years.
On October 31, at around 8.50pm, he was out delivering food when he was approached by two people wearing Scream-style masks in Southend Gardens.
Paul said: “They came up to me when I was doing some deliveries demanding money. They knocked me to the ground and left without taking anything. It was very scary but I just carried on working. I went back to the shop, told my boss and reported it to the police.”
The attack left Paul with some bruises on his arms. However, since the incident he has refused to take time off. He said: “I’m a bit more wary now. I just have to be more careful when I go out, if I knock on the door and no-one answers, for example. But I love my job and I want to continue doing it.”
In Whitby, dozens of residents who know “Porto Paul” took to social media to condemn the attack, which many described as “disgusting”, “shocking” and “heartbreaking”.
On Facebook, one user said: “I really like Paul, he’s a lovely bloke and I always have a good chat with him when he delivers to ours. What happened to him is awful.”
Another user who was said to be “knocked for six” by the news added: “How anyone could even contemplate on hurting such a sincere old man who goes out in the dark delivering folks food! It’s actually tugging on my heart.”
Some people in town have also suggested starting a fund-raiser for a reward.
Hearing about the support people have shown on social media, Paul said: “I appreciate that, I can’t believe how kind people can be.”
North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information on the attempted robbery.
The first suspect is described as male, around 6 ft 1in tall and of slim build. He was wearing dark clothing.
The second suspect’s gender is not known but they were around 5ft 6ins tall and of slim build. They were wearing a dark brown fleece with long sleeves. They were both wearing masks.
Anyone who has any information should contact 101 and quote reference number 12180204027.