Police in Warrington are appealing for information after an elderly man was pushed into a river by youths who ran away while he struggled in the water.
The 74-year-old was sat on a bank of the River Mersey on Wharf Street, near Riverside Retail Park, on Sunday afternoon when the incident took place.
Sometime between 2.30pm and 3pm, two or three male youths are said to have pushed the pensioner from behind, causing him to fall into the water.
The youngsters then ran away laughing, Warrington Police said.
Two women who were passing by noticed the man in the water and pulled him out.
The man, who suffered a cut to his face, later walked home and told his family what had happened, before they reported the assault to police.
Officers are now appealing for help in identifying those responsible, while also urging the two women who helped the pensioner to come forward.
Sergeant Mark Spaven, of Warrington Local Policing Unit, said: “This was a shocking and upsetting incident which has understandably left the gentleman shaken.
“He returned home freezing cold and had sustained a cut to his face due to banging his head as he fell into the water.
“We are determined to find those responsible and I am urging anyone who has any information or believes they know who did this to come forward.
“I also want to appeal to the two women who thankfully came to his rescue to please get in touch with us as you could have information which could help our investigation.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact 101 quoting IML 973152 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Watch: Vernon Kay on how he saved an ITV producer from drowning