Police in Wigan have launched an investigation after two men attempted to meet up with underage girls, they thought they had groomed over the internet.
The first incident happened on Friday 17 April 2015, at around 9pm, when a 19-year-old man arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl in a church car park in Atherton.
When he arrived he was filmed being attacked by a group of men who accused him of being a paedophile,and of having arranged to meet up with an underage girl.
The man managed to get away from the group; he went home where he received messages demanding money and they said if he did not pay, the group would upload the video of him on Facebook.
The following day the man reported the incident to the police and was subsequently arrested on suspicion of being an adult attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 following grooming. He has been bailed pending further enquiries.
The second incident happened at 2.40pm on Saturday 18 April 2015, when concerned shoppers witnessed a 25-year-old man being beaten up by a group of people at Market Placein Wigan.
The group accused the man of arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl online. The man was attacked byone of the men in the group; he head butted him and knocked out two of his teeth.
The rest of the group filmed the incident which has since been posted online. The man got away from the group and went to the police station to report the incident.
The 25-year-old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of being an adult attempting to meet a girl under the age of 16 following grooming and remains in police custody for questioning.
The first offender that attacked the 18-year-old is described as white, aged between 18 – 20, shaven brown hair, wearing a white t-shirt, a black tracksuit and was carrying a black Foot Asylum drawstring bag. He has a tattooed left arm.
The second is described asa white woman, about 5ft 4in tall with reddish, dark hair wearing a greyhoodie and a black top.
The third is described asa white man, aged in his 40s, 5ft 4in tall, wearing glasses and carryinga walking stick.
The fourth is described as a white man with short brown receding hair and wearing a blue T-Shirt.
Detective Inspector Charlotte Cadden from Bolton division, said: “These men were targeted because they had illegally arranged to meet up with underage girls online.
“I want to make it clear that grooming and arranging to meet up with children you have met over the internet is a criminal offence and if you are caught doing this you will be arrested and prosecuted.
“It is unacceptable that this group are posing as underage girls and meeting up with men with the view to either blackmailing them or attacking them in the street.
“If you have any information regarding these incidents, please contact the police as soon as possible”
Anyone with any informationis asked to call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers 0800555 111.