A MAN was threatened with a weapon and told to hand over money when he refused to pay a 'toll' for walking on a footpath.

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward after two incidents, which happened near Katesgrove Children's Centre.

The first involved a shaven headed man approaching a dog walker, who refused to give over his money when he was told to by the offender.

This happened at around 6.45pm on September 25, shortly after a different man had been punched in the face after refusing to give up his seat on a bench.

The man then wheeled the victim’s bicycle away and as he went to retrieve it, the man assaulted him by punching him in the face.

When the victim, a 40-year-old man, refused to move, an altercation broke out and the suspect brandished a knife and threatened him.

A woman then approached and spoke to the offender and the victim left the scene before contacting the emergency services.

He sustained a black eye and scratches to his face and attended hospital. He has since been discharged.

It is believed that the same offender is responsible for both incidents.

He is white with a shaved head, about 5ft 6ins to 5ft 8ins tall, and was wearing a light grey tracksuit, black gilet and a grey or black hooded top.

The victim, who was walking his dog, in the first incident described the offender as wearing a knitted skull cap and having a tattoo of two crescent moons touching each other on his right hand.

Police constable Colin Boyes, based at Reading police station, said: “I believe that these two offences could be linked and that the same offender might be responsible for both of them.

“I would like to speak to anyone who has information relating to either incident, or who has any information which they think could help our investigation.

“If you have any details which you think could be relevant, please call the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number on 101.”

If you do not want to speak to police, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.