A mother was left “terrified and traumatised” after a teenager spat at her and her seven-week-old baby in an “appalling and incredibly dangerous” attack, police said.
The 28-year-old woman was pushing her newborn son in a pushchair on Car Hill Road, in Gateshead, on Friday when she was approached by a group of seven teenagers and asked for a cigarette, Northumbria Police said.
When the woman refused, she was verbally abused by the group and spat at by one of the teenagers.
A force spokesman said the spit missed the pair and landed on the rain-cover of the pushchair, leaving the mother “uninjured but very shaken”.
Police have now launched an investigation to identify the group, which left in the direction of the Windy Nook Tesco after the incident at around 4pm.
Pc Mark Allan said: “This is a despicable offence that has left a mother and her young child terrified and traumatised.
“It is an unprovoked attack by a stranger.
“Spitting at someone is disgusting at the best of times but to do so during the coronavirus pandemic is appalling and incredibly dangerous.”
The officer continued: “This type of behaviour will not be tolerated and will be met by a robust response from neighbourhood officers.”
Police appealed to people in the community for information about the identity of the teenagers in the group, which included a tall female with a black PVC coat, a female with purple hair in a bun, a male with a grey jumper and two small males.
The victim was unable to say if the seventh member was male or female but described them as wearing orange.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting log 625 05/06/20.