Horror as woman dragged underwater by male swimmer after overtaking him in pool

A woman has told how she was dragged underwater by a male swimmer after overtaking him in a pool.

Dr Josie Perry, 44, was left in pain after the man allegedly “aggressively” attacked her on Monday morning last week.

Police are investigating after Dr Perry said the angry man grabbed her feet before pulling her beneath the surface and holding her there at Chiswick New Pool in west London.

Dr Perry tweeted: “Attacked in the pool this morning for overtaking a fragile male ego. Grabbed my feet and held me underwater. Then starts yelling.

“Lifeguards lovely but of course it is me that has to leave as I can’t risk swimming with an aggressive man far stronger than I.”

Dr Perry, who wears a float to support her swimming due to suffering from a spinal disability, told the Independent that the aid flew off during the incident.

She said: “The guy was going a lot slower so I was having to overtake him regularly.

“As I got to the other end of the lane, I tumble turned underwater and as I tried to come up from under the water, I could not move.

“Someone had grabbed my ankle aggressively. It hurt for an hour or two afterwards.”

Dr Perry said the man later admitted he had grabbed her to show he did not like the fact that she was overtaking him.

She added that the lifeguard and duty manager intervened, saying they did not think the man should be in the fast lane.

But despite this, the swimmer insisted he was fast enough – and even offered the woman to have a race.

Dr Perry, from London, said there was also another man swimming fast in the same lane, but nothing happened to him.

She explained she felt anxious as a result of the incident and could not sleep that night.

But Dr Perry managed to return to the swimming pool the following day, although she was “shaking”.

On Tuesday she tweeted: “Returned to the pool. Shaking. Swam my set. But realised I was holding back so as not to risk upsetting anyone. Hate that we end up modifying our behaviour through fear.”

This is not the first time Dr Perry is attacked in a swimming pool.

She said that five years ago a man kicked her in the stomach and told her she was intimidating him by swimming too fast – despite being in the fast lane.

After sharing the incident on Twitter, the psychologist received several replies from other women who had similar experiences while doing sport.

One wrote: “I am so sorry this happened to you. Playing football as the only girl on a team, I once dribbled around a boy & he clearly didn’t like it.

“He hooked & yanked my ankle from behind & I ended up with ligament damage that has plagued me since. Fragile male ego indeed. Hope you’re ok.”

Another added: “I was once caused to crash on a descent because a guy didn’t like me overtaking (I’d been patiently behind him for ages) he came back up the inside & took me out. Unbelievable this is still happening, I’m sorry.”

The Metropolitan Police said: “Police received an allegation of assault from a woman relating to an incident at a swimming pool in Chiswick on Monday, 28 June. Enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”