A binman has been shot in the back in an unprovoked attack by a yob while collecting rubbish in Sheffield.
David Dannatt was taking bins and emptying them into a refuse lorry on Standon Road, Wincobank, when he was blasted in the back with an air rifle by an unseen assailant.
He cried out in pain and was left with three bleeding pellet wounds – and says he was lucky to escape serious injuries.
Shocked refuse lorry driver David, aged 48, said: “I screamed like a pig when I felt the shot – I knew what it was because it was such a sharp pain.
“It is really painful, especially just through a shirt.
“I said to the crew, ‘I think I’ve been shot’, and on my back there was a wound and there it was bleeding.
“We just do our jobs. You might get the odd confrontation when somebody wants to get past you, but this is taking it to the extreme.”
David, a dad of two grown-up children, who has been a binman for five years and lives in Rotherham, called police from the scene.
He went straight back to work for Sheffield Council waste contractor Veolia, and did not need medical attention, but says the incident has left him with concerns.
“I normally turn to my right to pick a bin up and then to the left, but this time there wasn’t a bin to the right. If there had been I would have been shot in the chest or the face - so it does make you think about what could have happened,” he said.
“I must admit today when I am getting out of the lorry I am looking at the houses to see whether there is any movement at a window.
“On that street is just houses and flats. I didn’t see anyone around. The only thing I can think is that the shot came from the block of flats.”
Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, said: “I am completely shocked and appalled by this incident.
“It is disgusting, stupid and criminal. I can’t understand what goes through someone’s head to do this.
“We will do everything we can to support the police in finding out who committed this crime to ensure they are brought to justice.
“I am so impressed by our operative, who stayed at his post and finished his round, going well above and beyond the call of duty and showing huge dedication.
“He deserves a medal. I am just so relieved he wasn’t critically injured.”
David was shot at 9am last Friday.
A Veolia spokeswoman said: “We deplore this incident. As soon as it was reported, two of our managers immediately attended to assist our colleague and we will continue to provide him with the necessary support.
“We are pleased to say incidents of this severity are extremely rare, and we are committed to ensuring our staff can carry out their day to day duties in a safe working environment without harassment or being placed at risk of physical injury.
“The incident was reported immediately to the police. We will continue to work closely with them in their efforts to ensure the persons responsible are brought to justice.”