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'Iron bar-wielding predator' was man testing water

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'Iron bar-wielding predator' was man testing water
File image of a Swedish police helicopter. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
16:41 CEST+02:00
A terrifying manhunt ended well on Monday when a woman learned that the man she thought was chasing her with an iron bar was in fact a water researcher with a plastic test tube.

Police received a call at 11am from a jogger who said she was being pursued by a man wearing gloves and wielding an iron bar. 

Anna, 37, was advised by the police to go into hiding in the woods near Ucklum in western Sweden as several police units, including a helicopter, were sent to the scene. 

The jogger was looking for a dog collar she had lost on a track around Lake Gård the previous day when one of her three dogs headed to the water's edge. 

“She ran up to a man who sat down and stroked her,” Anna told local newspaper GT. 

“The man then stood up and took plastic gloves out of his pocket and put them on, but he didn't say anything. He just stood there smiling.” 

Anna said the man then grabbed hold of the dog's collar and led the animal towards a small cottage. Twice she heard him say “there's a girl” in English before he took out out what she thought was an iron bar. 

Terrified, Anna fled. The man then walked after her towards the jogging path. 

“I called the police at the same time as I was running like crazy. They told me to get off the path and head for the woods,” she told GT. 

She stayed in phone contact with police throughout her ordeal. When the helicopter crew found her location they asked her to come out of her hiding place. Despite her fear, she complied and was taken to safety.

Police soon found the would-be predator and concluded that the whole thing had been a misunderstanding. 

What Anna had thought was an iron bar was in fact a long plastic test tube used by researchers to take samples measuring acidity in the water as part of a long-term project at the lake. 

And the researcher, for his part, wasn't crazy about her big dogs. 

“Basically, she was scared of him, and he was scared of dogs,” police spokeswoman Jenny Widén told The Local. 

Anna said she found that explanation odd, given that he had taken hold of her dog, but no complaints were filed in the case. 

And Jenny Widén said Anna had not done anything wrong. 

“It turned out to be nothing, but if you perceive the situation like she did then of course you should call the police.”

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