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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Garda 'lucky to be alive' after being held at gunpoint

Paul Williams

Published 27/03/2014 | 02:30

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26/03/14 Gardai at the scene at Ravensdale Park, Kimmage this morning where a Garda Detective was attacked and received head injuries last night between 7:45 and 8:45. The male detective is attached to the Sundrive Road Station and is currently in St. James Hospital receiving treatment for a head injury ... Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Gardai at the scene at Ravensdale Park, Kimmage

A GARDA detective who was held at gunpoint and then beaten unconscious is lucky to be alive, his colleagues have said.

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The officer was attacked after confronting one of two men that he noticed acting suspiciously in a Dublin park.

He was forced to hand over his identity card, notebook and the keys to his unmarked squad car before being beaten over the head with a pistol.

The incident occurred at Ravensdale Park in Kimmage around 7.50pm on Tuesday when he spotted the men passing a package between them.

The experienced detective, who was alone in an unmarked garda car, was returning to his station after filling the car with petrol.

Sources said last night the incident was so serious that the officer could "easily have been shot dead" if he had been carrying his official firearm.

He was beaten over the back of the head with the gun and lay unconscious for around 25 minutes before raising the alarm.

The officer, who is based at Sundrive Road, was treated overnight in hospital for head injuries before being discharged yesterday.

CCTV footage from the park shows that when the detective showed his ID card and announced he was going to carry out a drug search, the suspect produced a handgun and threatened the officer. The gunman demanded that the detective hand over his firearm and police radio, neither of which he had with him.

The officer was then forced to walk to a darkened corner of a nearby green where he was robbed of his ID, notebook and the keys to the squad car. He was severely beaten.

Although dazed and in shock he eventually made it back to his patrol car and activated a panic alarm to call assistance.

SERIOUS

Gardai have launched a major investigation into the incident, which they described as "extremely serious".

Officers later recovered the discarded keys for the unmarked patrol car and pages torn from the detective's notebook.

Last night, a source said that the officer, who does not wish to be identified, was lucky to be alive".

"The armed suspect demanded that the garda hand over his gun and radio – if he had been armed he could easily have been shot dead.

"An initial examination of the CCTV footage clearly shows that the gunman was prepared to open fire on the detective if he had pulled a pistol," sources say.

Gardai at Sundrive station are appealing for any witnesses to call the incident room at 01 6666600.

Irish Independent

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