Residents have captured the moment a thug with a shovel pulled an elderly man out of a car and took his keys before driving off.

The shocking attack was amid a heated row over two properties being built at the end of Buttsfield Lane, in East Hoathly near Uckfield.

The road was blocked by a black Toyota Yaris, understood to be owned by a resident on the road and placed to prevent construction vehicles getting to a building site at the end of the lane.

But the row reached breaking point on Wednesday, May 31 as Simeon Twala took it upon himself to pull the driver out of the Yaris and drive the car off himself.

The Argus: Simeon TwalaSimeon Twala (Image: Supplied)

Twala was carrying a red shovel and said he did not "mind getting arrested".

He then chucked the shovel to the ground and put his hands inside the car in a desperate attempt to move it.

Residents could be heard screaming at him to stop manhandling the vehicle, but he took no notice of this.

Instead, Twala directed his abuse at the driver. He said: "Do you want to lose your face?

"You have a choice. You have a choice. You have a f***ing choice."

He then grabbed the inside door handle and unlocked the car from the inside, before grabbing the driver and pulling him out of the car on to the gravel outside.

Twala's attention then turned to moving the car. "Give me your f***ing keys. Give me the keys. Now," he said.

Furious residents were frantically trying to stop him during the melee.

The Argus: Residents warred with Twala, who was now behind the wheelResidents warred with Twala, who was now behind the wheel (Image: Contributor)

A source close to the dispute told The Argus: "Many of the residents on this road are octogenerian retirees. They didn't want this being built.

"Initially residents were standing in the road or blocking it so vehicles couldn't get to the construction site.

"And then they started using cars and it has escalated."

This was not the first time Twala has been involved in a scuffle in the country village. He pleaded guilty to assault by beating in the same road on May 23, just over a week before this incident.

Planning documents at Wealden District Council show plans for two homes, both with two off-road parking spaces, at the end of Buttsfield Lane.

But residents do not want these two new houses built due to the increased traffic that could drive down their quiet lane.

The Argus: Buttsfield LaneButtsfield Lane (Image: Google)

Sussex Police were called to the scene as Twala put the keys in the ignition and reversed the car off the road.

Following the incident, a spokesman for the force said: "Tackling violent crime remains a priority for Sussex Police and we have increased patrols in the area to provide extra reassurance to our communities."

Simeon Twala, 39, of Railway Road in Newhaven, appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court on June 22.

He pleaded guilty to taking a motor vehicle without the owners consent and criminal damage on May 31 and the assault by beating on May 23. He was ordered to pay a fine of £120 plus charges of £88.