To her relief, she saw a man and a woman close by and presumed they were the dogs’ owners. One of her own dogs growled, which made the other dogs more aggressive. As her dogs rushed to shelter behind her, they encircled her with their leads and she couldn’t move. Panicking that the other dogs were about to attack, she started to scream.
The bailed-up woman said the man and the woman, who were in their 30s or 40s, didn’t seem in a hurry to do anything. She screamed at them to call their dogs off. Eventually they did and then packed the dogs, which weren’t particularly well disciplined or co-operative, into a modern red SUV parked nearby.
As the walker crouched in the grass on the side of the track to comfort her pets, she noticed her bag lying in the middle of the track and realised she must have dropped it in her panic. Knowing her mobile phone was in it, she yelled to the other woman, who was in the car driver’s seat, not to go. Then she ran to pick up her bag and continued on to a sloping bank on the far side of the track, where she sat down to regain her composure and wait for the car to leave the area.
Instead the driver revved the motor and backed the SUV towards her and her dogs. The woman screamed and the driver stopped two steps short of her. The woman jumped up and walked past the driver’s window.
“You all right, dearie?” the driver asked.
“You scared me.”
“Why don’t you f… off then.”
“Yes, why don’t you f… off,” the man in the passenger seat called.
The woman left with her two small dogs amid a hail of further expletives.
Too traumatised to ring the police when she got home, she filled in a report form on the Crime Stoppers website. Within several minutes, a concerned policewoman rang back to see if she was all right.
The policewoman urged her to report the incident to the San Remo police, but she was still in a state of shock. The next day when she could speak without being overwhelmed by telling and reliving the incident, she did ring the police. A young policeman took her report. The police are now investigating the incident.
On revisiting the area, the woman said, “I walk down that track and still see the length of the deep skid mark: from the driver revving the engine as she backed and the stopping point where I was sitting. I feel speechless and am still in disbelief.”
If anyone witnessed the incident or knows anyone who fits the description of the two people in the red car, please contact the San Remo police on 5678 5500.
The writer of this report asked to remain anonymous.