A WOMAN who was pushed into a canal got out and followed her attacker for two hours - but police failed to respond to her phone pleas for help.
Lesley Saunders, 58, said neighbours had cornered the woman just after the attack, but she escaped after police arrived too late.
Mrs Saunders, of Wellhouse, Golcar, is angry that she did everything she could to track the woman down, but did not get support from police.
The incident happened when she took her own dog, Polly, and a friend's dog, Duster, for a walk alongside Huddersfield Narrow Canal off Lowestwood Lane in Linthwaite at 6pm on Monday.
Duster accidentally fell into the canal and Mrs Saunders had to drag him out.
But when she turned around, she was approached by an angry woman with a white Jack Russell dog who threatened to throw Polly into the canal, too.
"She was chasing Polly and was absolutely furious, swearing at me," said Mrs Saunders.
"I said "don't threaten me" and she then pushed me with such force I went flying into the canal."
Neighbours saw what was happening, chased the attacker along the canal towards Slaithwaite and cornered her.
They did not want to grab hold of her for fear of being accused of assault, so they called police.
But the woman escaped before they responded.
Mrs Saunders went home and a police officer came, took some details and left.
Mrs Saunders was still so angry by what had happened she drove out with her 15-year-old son, Matthew, and his friend, Joshua Hobson, and spotted the woman on Manchester Road in Linthwaite.
Matthew and Joshua got out and followed her at a distance while Mrs Saunders phoned police and gave them a running commentary.
The woman walked up Hoyle Ing and hid in an abandoned caravan before crouching in undergrowth.
Mrs Saunders said this went on for about two hours until it became dark and they lost sight of her as she ran away.
By the time the police arrived, the woman had gone.
"I must have made four calls to the police telling them where the woman was the whole time," said Mrs Saunders. "All they had to do was come and pick her up."
Mrs Saunders, a former nurse, aggravated an old back injury when she was pushed into the canal.
Pc Dave McSweeney, of Huddersfield police, confirmed the police control room had received the calls - but throughout the incident all other police officers in the Huddersfield area were dealing with 999 calls.
The first officer who went to her home was a traffic policeman who had responded from Clayton West.
He searched the area for the woman, but did not see her.
He said: "They were all tied up with calls classed as immediates.
"At times like this it is as frustrating for us as it is for the victim."
The attacker is white, in her 40s, about 5ft 6ins and stocky.
She has brown hair in a ponytail and a red blotchy face.
She wore a blue T-shirt, black leggings and a baseball cap.
Contact Huddersfield police on 01484 436659.