A TEENAGER feared he was going to be kidnapped after being chased across football fields at night by a man clad all in black.
Now 14-year-old Dillon Tarbuck’s mum has launched a campaign to keep other young people safe in Leigh, fearful that it could happen again.
Dillon was walking alone across the Marsh playing field towards Wigan Road when the dark figure leapt out of bushes at around 10pm on Saturday night.
The youngster, who lives in June Avenue, feared he was going to be abducted but managed to flee from the man and returned home extremely shaken by the encounter.
Dillon had gone into town to meet up with friends but they went their separate ways at Asda on Atherleigh Way, and he decided to take the short cut across the dark playing fields rather than a longer route along Wigan Road.
His mum Lisa Tarbuck is now launching an awareness campaign to help teenagers stay safe when out in the evenings, and is trying to arrange special assemblies at Bedford High School which her son attends, and Westleigh.
Greater Manchester Police have also been informed of the incident.
Lisa, 32, said: “Dillon was quite lucky but there’s a lot of houses and kids around the field, and my concern is their safety, because they might not be so fortunate next time.
“He was petrified when he got home, he just broke down.
“Dillon said he couldn’t tell what build the man was, he said he jumped out from some bushes and came towards him, and so he just ran off as fast as he could.
“He’s only just started going out with friends in the last week or so, and it’s a valuable lesson learned for them.
“They need to make proper arrangements and take the long route home around the houses at night because the fields are unlit.
“Dillon also told me he had felt safe because he pretended he was on the phone talking to me as he was walking, and young people need to learn that’s not going to work.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to ring the police on 101 or the freephone Crimestoppers number anonymously on 0800 555111.