A disabled man was subjected to vile taunts by a gang of youths in an Asda supermarket.
Nathan Smiddy was followed into an the supermarket, where teenagers shouted abuse at him, falsely accusing him of being a paedophile.
The 29-year-old man, who has learning difficulties, autism, and dyspraxia, says he fears the malicious accusations could lead to him or others being attacked if the verbal abuse continues.
Nathan says he feels targeted because of his disability and claims it has happened on more than one occasion.
He says he wears a body camera for his own protection.
Mr Smiddy, who lives in the Redcar and Cleveland area, told Teesside Live: “I want to try get the message out there about what’s happening because the last thing I wants is for them to start targeting other people.
“I was heading towards Asda and I had already spoken to a [member of staff] about the anti-social behaviour problems they were having with kids.
“They followed me. One of the kids came into the shop.
“In front of me and the store manager he was trying to claim that I like recording kids.
“They tried to say I had assaulted them.
“I was trying to walk away then all I heard was them shouting the word paedophile, paedophile, you little paedophile.
“I don’t understand why they were targeting me.
“They approached me. The kids seem to feel like they can get away with anything.
“I’m worried that people will hear these allegations and act first and think later.”
He says he has a caution for assault after retaliating to previous abuse from teenagers.
Nathan wears a body camera when he leaves home which he thought about buying after he was attacked 10 years ago.
He was punched to the ground and repeatedly kicked during a terrifying assault.
Three teenagers were later prosecuted for the attack, one of which was charged with causing actual bodily harm, following the incident in Redcar in February 2013.
“I wanted it so that if anything happened then everything is there on video footage so I can show the police, rather than it be my word against theirs,” said Nathan.
“My memory isn’t good and if I needed to report something to the police and they asked for the time, location, description I might not know – that’s what the body camera does.”
An Asda spokesperson said: “Any abuse towards customers or colleagues is unacceptable and we do not tolerate behaviour of this kind in any of our stores.
“We would welcome Mr Smiddy into our store to discuss this incident with our management team so that we can investigate.”
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