A grandmother was attacked in front of her eight-year-old grandson in a broad daylight "random attack of violence" today.
The hooded attacker punched the 47-year-old woman to the ground then kicked and beat her around the head while she was prone on the floor. Her grandson ran off and was unharmed but "shaken", police said.
The brutal attack, along the canal footpath in Hempsted, left the woman with bruising and swelling to her face although police said she did not require immediate medical treatment.
She was being checked over at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital this evening.
Detective Sergeant Tracyann Curtis of Gloucestershire Police said: "The victim was approached by an unknown male who was wearing dark clothing and had his hood tightened around his head and a scarf covering his face. He had black boots with his trousers tucked into the boots and a long dark coat. He punched her several times to the head causing her to fall to the floor. Her grandson was able to run off and was not hurt in the incident.
"The offender continued to punch and kick the victim whilst on the floor."
She added that the woman was "very shaken" but had her family around her.
A manhunt has been launched for the attacker. Det Sgt Curtis added: "It would appear that this is a random attack of violence and police wish to remind everyone to always be vigilant to who is around them when out walking regardless of the time of day."
Anyone with information should call 101.