Richmond nurse bruised by stale bagel thrown by a stranger who yelled about her dog

Dickson: 'It hit so hard that it actually popped the skin'
Posted at 4:58 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 19:18:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond nurse Arlene Dickson came forward this week to share a scary situation that happened to her while walked her dog near Carytown. Dickson was prompted to share the 2023 incident after seeing a report about another woman who was assaulted over the weekend while walking her dog in a Chesterfield park.

While Dickon does not believe the same person is responsible, she said it spoke to larger issues impacting Virginians across the Commonwealth.

Dickson used to walk her 2-year-old goldendoodle Kirby around Carytown three to four days a week.

That changed on August 21, 2023.

Bagel attack

Dickson said she was walking Kirby around 8:30 that morning in the area when a stranger in a white sedan screamed at her from his car.

"He started honking his horn and yelling and waving his arms at me from the car," Dickson said. "And I was like, 'What?' I couldn't understand what he was talking about."

Dickson said she continued to walk and tried to ignore the man.

She said he followed her down Belmont Street toward Cary Street, screaming profanities and telling her to "get her dog out of his city."

As she walked toward Cary Street, she said the man got out of his car.

"He picks up this bagel, three-day-old bagel, hard as a rock, and he threw it as hard as he could and he caught me right there," Dickson said, pointing to her eye. "And it hit so hard that it actually popped the skin, and then it popped a little blood vessel under the skin and it just started to swell."

Bagel attack

Dickson said she filed a police report and received a letter from Richmond Police's Victim Support group, but added she never heard from an officer again.

She said she didn't follow up immediately, because of something that happened to her just a few days later.

"On Friday of the same week, I got a phone call saying, 'Oh by the way, you have breast cancer,'" Dickson said. "This had to go on the back burner. And it's like, this came up, and suddenly, it's on the front burner."

She drew similarities to the Chesterfield assault case: A woman walking her dogs in a public area, in the morning, was assaulted by a stranger when she didn't respond to his approach. Both potential suspects were seen in a white sedan.

While the physical description of both men was different, Dickson said one similarity should not be ignored.

"I worry," Dickson said. "Whoever the attacker was in Chesterfield, whoever this young man was who attacked me, they've obviously got some issues. And I wonder what kind of treatment they're getting. And hope that somehow we could guide them to treatment before they escalate even more."

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