AN ICE cream man's van was attacked by an armed gang in what his family believe was a targeted incident.

The van had been parked in Lever Edge Lane when it is understood that, at around 2.40pm yesterday, a group of men got out of two cars and got into an altercation with the ice cream man.

They then smashed up the vehicle, shattering the front and rear windscreens and windows, using bats and other weapons.

The ice cream man is believed to be unhurt. His sister, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “My brother has owned this van for about five or six years and this has never happened before.

“We don’t know why anyone would want to do this. My brother has never had any problems with anyone.

“As a family we are desperate for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward and tell the police.”

In the aftermath police swooped and eyewitnesses said four police cars were at the scene. The ice cream van was removed from the roadside and taken to the home of the owner ­— who works independently.

A resident living nearby said CCTV cameras in his house had captured the moment the attackers struck.

He added: “It’s worrying when something like this happens, especially with the school near here.

"But it’s not something that usually happens.”