A mugger threatened to stab a Lincoln dad after stepping on his foot to block his escape in a chilling incident on the city's Birchwood estate.
The 38-year-old victim, who has asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, bravely tried to fight off the attacker in Lyneham Close, who told him: "Empty your pockets or I will stab you."
He handed over a £10 note after catching menacing glances from two accomplices inside a parked van.
According to the victim, the gang, who he believes comes from outside the city, has been targeting people on the estate.
He said: "I was walking back from the shops when I came across this parked blue Transit van. One man got out and came running over to me.
"He grabbed me by my arm, trod on my foot and shoved me against a fence and asked what I had in my pockets.
"I put up a fight and pushed him off; I was not going to be intimidated. I noticed the other two in the van.
"The door opened and they made themselves known.
"I have lived on this estate for 18 years and never had any trouble. You shouldn't have to worry about walking down your own street."
The offender is described as a stocky white man, late 20s to early 30s, 5ft 6in to 5ft 8in, with a freckled complexion and brown swept-back hair with a ginger tinge to it. He spoke with an Irish accent.
The victim claimed three men had recently broken into the house of a local man who had stood up to their threats and beaten him up.
He added that on another occasion an 18-year-old man was made to empty his pockets in Lyneham Close.
He said: "Birchwood is all right. It's not a bad place to live these days. Unless you are making a nuisance of yourself, people will leave you alone.
"The problem is coming from outside the estate."
And he appealed for people to step forward: "If what happened to me happens to you, call the police," he said.
"I want people to stand up to these people, as they are trying to intimidate us – and maybe they will leave the estate." Lincolnshire Police spokesman Dick Holmes said there had been no reports of other incidents in Lyneham Close, and that the incident was not being linked to the assault of a 19-year-old man by six people wearing hoodies and scarves over their faces on a field at the back of Birchwood Shopping Centre in January.
He said: "If there are people out there who are being subjected to harassment or robbery in Birchwood and where a blue Transit van is involved we want to know."
Anyone with information about the incident, which happened at about 4.30pm on Thursday, March 6, should call Detective Constable Michael Wilding of Lincoln CID on the 101 non-emergency number.