Mum confronted by armed youths

By Lisa CleverdonA MOTHER-of-two has told how she was threatened by a gang of armed youths who surrounded her car during an unprovoked attack. Shannon Rogers said her terrifying ordeal had left her and her family wishing they had never moved to Lakenheath from their home in America four months ago.

By Lisa Cleverdon

A MOTHER-of-two has told how she was threatened by a gang of armed youths who surrounded her car during an unprovoked attack.

Shannon Rogers said her terrifying ordeal had left her and her family wishing they had never moved to Lakenheath from their home in America four months ago.

Mrs Rogers was left petrified when a gang of between 10 and 12 teenagers surrounded her car as she turned into Mill Road in Lakenheath on her way home from a night out.


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The youths, who were armed with bats, became abusive and threatening towards Mrs Rogers, shouting at her to get out of her car.

The 32-year-old was so frightened by her ordeal that she had an anxiety attack and now refuses to drive along the same stretch of road at night.

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Mrs Rogers, of Lilac Drive, Lakenheath, is married to U.S. serviceman Jeff and the family moved to England after he was posted to RAF Lakenheath from South Carolina.

She said: "My husband has applied for us to get a house on the base because I do not feel safe here anymore and I cannot spend the next four years living in fear.

"I had heard such lovely stories about the area and I was really thrilled to be moving here, but after what has happened I just want to take my kids and go back to America."

She added: "People have told me that it is very unusual for something like this to happen and I just think I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I have met some really lovely people since I have been in England and everyone I know has been really shocked by what has happened and it is just such a shame that a handful of youngsters can behave like this without realising the consequences of their actions."

The youths confronted Mrs Rogers in the early hours of Saturday as she returned from a night out at RAF Lakenheath.

"I noticed the boys standing by the side of the road. I didn't really think anything of it when all of a sudden they started walking towards the car," she recalled.

"They were carrying bats and I stopped because I didn't want to run any of them over, but then they spread out and I was completely surrounded.

"I was absolutely terrified and I began to beep my horn. They were all laughing so hard as though it was just a sick joke to them."

Mrs Rogers added: "Then the one at the front of my car stumbled over and I was able to get past him and drive away. They started to run after me, but I managed to get home and get in the house.

"I was so scared that I couldn't breath and all I could think about was how I was going to get away from them. I was just so thankful that my children were not with me at the time."

Acting Inspector Mark Larner, of Mildenhall police, said incidents like this were rare in Lakenheath.

He added: "Tackling anti-social behaviour is a key priority for Suffolk police and the actions of the small minority who are involved in such happenings will not be tolerated.

"As such we will be doing everything within our power to trace these offenders and deal with them in an appropriate manner.

"We will also be looking to set up patrols in the area to ensure that there is not a repeat of the incident."

Anyone with information should contact Mildenhall police on 01284 774100.

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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