Police are investigating what appears to be an anti-Semitic assault on a Jewish family who was spending a day out in St Albans on Sunday.
The victim, Michael, 30, was out with his two children, aged one and three, his wife, brother and sister-in-law and their one-year-old baby when the stranger approached.
The man walked past and “shoved the pram rather aggressively with the infant in it”.
When the shocked family demanded why, the man simply said it was because they were “dirty Jews”.
“At that point I took out my phone and started filming and asked him to repeat it, which he did,” Michael told The Independent.
The man, who appears to be in his 20s and is wearing an orange T-shirt and orange trousers, then repeats the slur and tries to knock Michael’s phone out of his hand.
While one of Michael’s relatives can be heard telling their young child not to “listen to this nasty man” the stranger then kicks an advertising hoarding on the street towards them before walking away.
“It was a bit of a shock [and] completely unprovoked,” Michael said. “It was very upsetting and very distressing.
“Obviously this comes at a time of rising antisemitism in the UK. It’s very uncomfortable.”
The family are “clearly identifiable” as Jewish because Michael wears the kippah skull cap, he explained, as do his brother-in-law and his father-in-law.
The Londoner said he was worried during the brief altercation the man might be carrying a weapon or try to attack one of the children.
Even after he had walked away Michael said he felt uneasy. “I was on the lookout because we were sitting ducks, trying to be aware of our surroundings.”
He has reported the attack to Hertfordshire Constabulary. A spokeswoman for the force confirmed officers were investigating a “racially aggravated assault”.
Michael said he was keen to identify the man in orange and asked anyone who recognised him to come forward.
“Officers are investigating and any witnesses, or anyone with information, should contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference 41/70651/19,” the police spokeswoman added.
“Victims of hate crime can be reassured that they will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.”