School girls tell of how they pulled pensioner to safety after 'laughing' teens push him into River Mersey in Warrington
Report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Victoria Grimes
Teenage girls who leapt to the rescue of an elderly man believed to have been deliberately pushed into a river have spoken of their heroic efforts.
Chloe Woods and Ellie Hughes were walking past the River Mersey, at the back of the Riverside Retail Park in Warrington, on Sunday 25 April, when they heard shouts for help.
The girls immediately leapt into action, pulling the shaken 74-year-old from the river, before cleaning blood from his face.
Chloe said: "We were walking past and we heard these people going, 'help, there's a man there', so me and Ellie quickly saw him and just dropped our stuff and went and quickly helped him and pulled him out of the river.
"He was in a bad state. He was hanging on to a branch, he had hold of my hand and he was saying 'can you help me?'
"I asked him if he wanted any help but he said no for an ambulance so we just helped him out and cleaned him up and all the blood off his face."
Cheshire Police are investigating the incident and have charged an 18-year-old with assault by beating.
Benjamin Bridgeman, who was arrested after he attended a police station, will appear at Warrington Magistrates Court on 19 May.
A second teenager, a 15-year-old boy, has been released with no further action for the assault.
The girls said the unnamed gentleman, who told them he had "just wanted to go fishing on a sunny day" thanked the girls for their help before walking home to his family.
Ellie Hughes said: "We were making sure he was alright, asking how far he had to walk, how far until he got home."
Ellie added it was a huge shock to see him in the water.
She said: "When it happened I was very shocked and disgusted that people would go around doing that to people, an elderly man as well - it's not right.