Saturday 10 December 2016

Town 'on edge' after knifeman chases boy (12) walking home from school

Greg Harkin

Published 12/11/2016 | 10:12

Pat the Cope Gallagher urged people to be vigilant
Pat the Cope Gallagher urged people to be vigilant

GARDAI are hunting a knife-wielding man who chased a 12-year-old boy as he walked home from school.

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Detectives say the incident happened on Quay Road in Dungloe, Co Donegal, at about 3pm on Thursday.

The boy was not physically injured during the incident but was left shaken.

The national school pupil was able to run away from the man and give a good description to gardai. The assailant was about 6ft 1in tall and aged between 30 and 40.

The man was wearing a black baseball cap, black top, dark blue jeans and brown boots.

"The boy was walking home from school when he was approached from a laneway," said Superintendent David Kelly.

"The boy said the man ran towards him and was carrying a knife. Fortunately the boy was able to run away and run to his home, which was nearby.

motive

"It's unclear at this stage what the motive was behind this incident, but what we do know is that a 12-year-old boy was left very distraught and very upset afterwards."

Schools in the town issued alerts to parents warning them not to allow pupils to walk alone to or from school.

The boy's school principal sent a message to all parents, which read: "Due to an incident which occurred after school today for safety reasons we ask parents to drop and collect children from school. Children should not walk home alone."

Yesterday parents walked or drove their children to the town's two national schools as a result of the alert.

"It was very, very frightening for the boy," said one mum whose son is at the same school.

"The whole town is on edge as a result of this and we hope gardai catch this horrible individual as soon as possible."

Fianna Fail TD Pat the Cope Gallagher, who lives in Dungloe, said: "It is a sad day when a young lad walking home from school could be the subject of such an horrendous incident.

"I would urge everyone to be vigilant in the days ahead and hope gardai bring this man to justice. The young boy has been left very distressed."

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