Wayne Hope: 'I thought paint thrown at me was acid'
A FATHER thought that red paint thrown on him during a night time road-rage attack was deadly acid.
Wayne Hope said he initially thought the red marks left by the substance on his hands and his Land Rover were his own blood.
The 39-year-old was attacked while his ill two-year-old son JJ was asleep in the back of his 4x4 vehicle.
Mr Hope said as he got out of his Land Rover on the A6 at Ambergate, the motorist, who had followed him, approached him aggressively, swore and then sprayed the paint on him.
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But as it was dark he thought his attacker had sprayed acid, leaving splatters of blood.
The incident happened at around 8.20pm on December 29 as Mr Hope drove home from his parents' Nottingham home.
Mr Hope, a production worker, said: "I was following this car between Ripley and Ambergate and just before we got to the A6 it broke suddenly in front of me. I swerved around it and it started following me closely, flashing its lights.
"I pulled over and got out the car – but as I did so, the driver got out and starting shouting and swearing as he came towards me.
"He was saying I had my lights on full beam but I told him that because I drove a Land Rover, the lights were a little higher than on normal cars.
"He was having none of it and the next thing I knew, he pulled out something and started to spray me with it.
"I put my hands up to stop and just instinctively thought it was acid.
"He then turned and went back to his car and I looked at my hands to see they were red. I thought it was blood from the acid."
Mr Hope, of Oakhurst Cottages, Ambergate, said his first thoughts were with his son, who was asleep in the back of the Land Rover. He said: "He had fallen ill and I had left my parents' house early to get him home to bed. I'm so grateful that he wasn't awake to witness what happened.
"I turned the car round to try and get the registration plate of the car but it had already sped off."
Mr Hope then went to the Hurt Arms pub, at the side of the A6, and called the police. He said: "I'm a bloke who can look after myself, but this has just knocked me for six."
A police spokesman confirmed the incident occurred and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.
He said: "The alleged offender got out of his car, approached the victim's car and sprayed a red paint type substance on the victim, before going back to his car and driving off.
"He is described as white, around 5ft 7ins tall, aged between 40 and 50, with grey hair and of slim build.
"He was driving a silver car, possibly a Vauxhall Astra."
Anyone with information should call Derbyshire police on 101.