A man was left bleeding in the middle of a road for half an hour after being attacked in a quiet Buckinghamshire village.
Thames Valley Police has launched an appeal for witnesses after the assault in Bells Hill, Stoke Poges, on Monday night.
The victim, who is in his 20s, sustained a "serious leg injury", the force said. He remains in hospital.
Two men, 19 and 21, and a woman, 20, have been arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent and are currently in police custody.
Neighbours reported a knife was used in the attack, though Thames Valley Police refused to confirm this when approached by Yahoo News UK.
"The weapon used is what will be established through the course of the investigation," a spokesperson said.
One onlooker told this website vehicles stopped at the scene, with several children being led away as motorists waited for police.
The onlooker, who did not want to be named, said on Tuesday afternoon: “It all happened so quickly.
“Cars stopped and people were trying to stop the children in the cars from seeing what was happening.
"It took about half an hour for the emergency services to arrive. He was just lying there, bleeding. There are still shoes lying on the pavement."
They continued: “The police have been here all day. It’s just awful. Things like this just don’t happen in Stoke Poges.
“We are a tight-knit community and everyone looks out for each other. My kids play on the grass right next to where it happened and I feel sick. What is the world coming to?”
Another witness, whose house overlooks the scene of the assault, said: "It's shaken us all. I feel scared for my children, for my neighbours, for everyone.
"I feel sick this has happened here. I still can't believe it."
Thames Valley Police, however, insisted the assault, which happened just after 9pm, was an "isolated incident".
Det Sgt Campbell Smith, the investigating officer, said in a statement on Tuesday evening: “We are appealing for any witnesses to this incident, or anyone who may have information about what happened, to please come forward.
“A thorough investigation is being carried out into the circumstances of this and we believe this to be an isolated incident and that there is no wider risk to the public.
“I would also urge anyone with dash-cams who were in the local area around the time of this incident to please review any footage in case it has captured something that may assist with this investigation."
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting reference 43210333726. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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