A MAN lost his job after an altercation with travellers led to him being arrested earlier this month.

The Saxon Fields resident, who did not wish to be named, was walking home on the night of Thursday, September 11, when he took a shortcut and stumbled across a traveller camp on the field next to Elbe Way.

He says he was “challenged” by three men in the group and after a brief scuffle, was able to get away to call the police.

But the group still followed him – some on foot and other in their vehicles, mounting the pavement to pursuit of him.

“They mounted the pavement while driving at me,” the 39-year-old said. “I dove into the bush – I’m still on the phone to the police at this time.

“I eventually made my way around onto Saxon Way and that was where the police gave me a lift and took me home.

“An hour and a half or so later they turned up at my house and arrested me.”

Police say a 39-year-old man was arrested “on suspicion of threatening to damage/destroy property” after it was reported that he “had threatened to burn down a caravan at an encampment” in Saxon Fields.

The man, however, describes that threat as “ludicrous” and that “entering a camp on his own to threaten numerous people” would be “suicide”.

Recalling the incident, he told the Advertiser: “I was walking home from a night out playing pool. I went my usual route and walked into the campsite by accident cutting through the hedge where I always do.

“I had no clue they were there. By the time I realised my mistake it was too late.”

He says he was kept at Basingstoke Investigation Centre until 1.40pm and lost his temporary job with Stannah due to his failure to report to work.

Police confirmed that “the man was released from custody with no further action”.

When asked how he felt about the incident, he added: “Just shock and disbelief at the treatment really. And considering I am not someone that’s known for going in trouble with the police – that’s my first arrest for anything related to that for a good 30 years.”

He said he was told he was being arrested for “endangerment to life” and added: “Endangerment to life, that’s quite a serious charge to be possibly going to court for.

“I’ve now been told there will be no further action but it’s still shocking.”

Following the ordeal, he also offered a word of caution to others living in the area.

“If you spot or see any of them in the area, just stay well clear,” he said. “Other people might not be as lucky as me.”