POLICE are searching for a group of men who allegedly waved an axe and threw a Coke can at a teenager in a racially-motivated attack.

A 19-year-old man had been cycling long Freemantle Grove, Hartlepool, on Saturday, July 9, when a grey van with three men inside deliberately swerved towards the teenager.

The dangerous move caused the cyclist to move out of the way as he travelled towards Seaton Lane between 4pm and 4.10pm.

The trio inside the van then began shouting racial abuse towards the teenager before throwing a Coke can at his head, which hit him just above the eye.

A Cleveland Police spokesman added that the driver of the van then left the vehicle before moving towards the 19-year-old with an axe.

The young man had picked up a stone to defend himself and the driver had joined his passengers in the van before the group left the scene.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspects or the incident is asked to contact PC Julie Cladingbowl via non-emergency number 101.

Information can also be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or crimestoppers-uk.org