An autistic man was severely shaken after an alleged assault in a retail parking lot where he said he was “pretending” to be disabled.
The man’s wife, who legally holds a blue badge, claims he was pushed against their vehicle and tagged as a “suitor” after parking in a disabled spot.
The incident happened at the Cyfarthfa Retail Park in Merthyr Tydfil. He had parked in the bay to give his disabled wife easier access to shops on Saturday 11 September around 2 p.m., according to Wales Online.
It is now said that the man is too impatient to use a marked parking lot for people with disabilities lest it happen again.
His wife, from Aberfan, said: “We were shopping and my husband parked in the disabled parking lot near Wilkos so I could get in.
“The disabled badge is for me because I have fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease. I went to the retail park with my daughter because she is helping me.
“A few minutes later my husband came in quite anxious and called me and told me he had been pushed.”
The woman said it started when her husband, 46, allegedly noticed a man watching him through his car window.
She said: “First of all, my husband noticed this man just looked at him through the window, so my husband opened the window.
“The man said, ‘You don’t look disabled, can I take a look at that badge?’ and my husband said no because it’s none of his business.
“Then he accused my husband of being a suitor, saying he stole the badge.
“My husband got out of the car and said, ‘I’m going to phone my wife so she can show you if she wants because she owns it.
“When he got out of the car because he didn’t want to show him the badge, the man grabbed his arm and pushed him against a parked car.
“Another man came to help, at which point the man came down.”
She claimed the man tried to push her husband a second time, but was prepared and able to keep himself from falling.
“The man threatened to report us for parking in the bay with our badge,” the woman said.
“He also assumed, for some reason, that my husband was not working, which really offended my husband who is self-employed and working. [very] hard.
“My husband was extremely shaken and needed his medication to calm him down.
“He stayed really restless, really anxious and a little worried about parking in a handicapped bay because he was worried it would happen again.
“I’m really angry. What right has he to wonder why someone is using a disabled badge?”
The woman said the police were “fantastic” and responded quickly to her call.
However, she says they were unfortunately unable to obtain CCTV footage as the camera pointing to the incident was broken.
She said it would be too stressful for her husband to go any further without the video evidence because of his autism.
A South Wales Police spokesperson said: ‘Shortly after 2 p.m. on Saturday 11 September, South Wales Police responded to reports of an assault at the Cyfarthfa Retail car park Park, Merthyr Tydfil.
“Investigations are still ongoing into the incident, and if anyone has any information they are asked to contact South Wales Police citing reference 2100320541.”