A DOG walker was punched and kicked by a masked man in a “random and vicious” attack.

The 20-year-old was walking at Ifield Mill Pond in Crawley.

It happened there at 2pm on Thursday this week.

He was approached by a man who demanded he hand over his mobile phone.

When the victim refused, he was assaulted.

But the attacker did not expect the victim would put up a fight and shout out to get attention, and fled with a second man when passers-by shouted at him.

Police say the victim needed hospital treatment for injuries to his face and leg.

One suspect is a stocky black man, 6ft tall and aged about 19 or 20. He wore a plain black hooded top with the hood up, a black face mask, black tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

Detective Inspector Cheryl Lewendon said: “This was a random and vicious attack.

“The motive was robbery but the suspect clearly didn’t expect the response of the young man or the attention of passers-by.”

Police have launched an investigation into the attempted robbery.

Anyone who saw what happened is asked to contact Sussex Police online or by calling 101, quoting serial 1172 of 10/09.

Information can also be reported to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.