Toby Neal: Unexpected violence along the south coast
"I've been stabbed!" gasped the man as I leaned over him.
He clutched his side and groaned.
And this on my holiday.
It was around midnight and constant loud music had been keeping the neighbourhood awake. There was then a commotion, shouting and swearing, and I peered out of the bedroom window to see a man on the car park over the road. A shadowy figure ran towards him from a car which, it seems, had been the source of the racket.
Cripes, I thought. There's going to be a fight. There was a confrontation, although in the darkness I couldn't see what, if anything, happened, but it wasn't a fight in any event. Then the figure ran back to the car which reversed and drove off in an extravagant manner as the gentleman, who I took to be a local who had remonstrated with them, walked across the car park towards the street with what I thought might be a stick, but turned out to be his crutch.
I watched from my vantage point to check he was all right. He stopped at the side of the road and was making a call on his mobile when he suddenly keeled over and collapsed, lying motionless.
In my pyjamas I ran down the stairs, out of the front door, and across to him. He was flat on his back. He'd been stabbed, he said.
He was wearing a white shirt, but I couldn't see any blood. I heroically called 999 on my mobile.
"What service do you require?" "Police! Ambulance! There's a man in the street who says he's been stabbed."
I parted his fingers to inspect the wound. There was a crescent-shaped mark on his skin on his left lower abdomen.