Northampton dog walker warns off 'suspicious' men with martial arts threat at busy park in town

"I was devastated when he told me what happened. I was so upset for him. He was still in shock," the dog walker's wife said

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 8:30 am

A Northampton dog walker is urging people to be 'extra vigilant' after her husband was approached by three 'suspicious' men in a busy park.

Lizzy Folwell-Murray, 32, has revealed her husband's shocking incident at Abington Park on Tuesday (October 5) at around 3.45pm while walking two mini Lassies.

Lizzy said: "He was walking two Shelties through the small bit at Abington Park near the café.

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Lizzy Folwell-Murray with a dog she looks after professionally. The dog is not the one with her husband at the time of the incident.

"They are beautiful looking dogs and you don't really see them around Northampton.

"My husband saw a guy jump over a wall and through the bushes. He thought it was weird, so walked the long way around.

"The guy came over and said 'I like those dogs'.

"People ask about dogs all the time so my husband chatted back.

"The guy then asked what breed they were and said he 'really liked' them, and then he signalled two other guys to come over.

"My husband said he was feeling a bit uncomfortable and asked 'what's going on fellas?'. They said they just 'really liked' the dogs. The guy then said 'I want those dogs'.

"My husband said 'I'm trained in martial arts [before warning them there would be consequences if they tried to take the dogs].

"They were taken a back. It was the first thing that came to his head to say to scare them off.

"My husband is a big guy, 6'2", very big build. God knows what they thought they would achieve by picking on him.

"I was devastated when he told me what happened. I was so upset for him. He was still in shock.

Lizzy added: "We would never hand a dog over to anyone. Neither of us would do anything like that.

"Luckily, we are both pretty handy [physically], but it's still scary.

"The owners are so grateful."

Lizzy reported the incident to the police and also posted across Facebook groups in Northampton, with the post being shared hundreds of times already.

On reporting the incident, Lizzy said other people have since come forward saying they have seen the men around the park throughout that day.

Lizzy, who runs Lizzy's Pet Services, now wants to warn others in the town to stay 'extra vigilant'.

She said: "You hear about these things all the time but never experienced it personally or by someone I know.

"It's something that owners are worried about. I have never had an experience like that before.

"Just be extra vigilant. If someone is brave enough to approach someone like my husband, they have no qualms approaching anyone on their own."

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: "At 4.40pm on Tuesday (October 5) we received a call from woman whose husband had been walking two dogs in Abington Park a short time earlier.

"During his walk he was approached by three young males who expressed an interest in the dogs and said they were nice. There was no physical attempt to steal them.

"They reported it to us as suspicious behaviour."

Both Lizzy and her husband practice martial arts at BST in Sixfields.