Sunday 17 November 2019

Garda suffers severe facial injuries after 'savage' teen assault

The incident happened in broad daylight in the Church Road area of East Wall (Stock picture)
The incident happened in broad daylight in the Church Road area of East Wall (Stock picture)

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

A GARDA is recovering after being savagely assaulted by at least two teenagers while on patrol in Dublin’s north inner city.

The incident happened in broad daylight in the Church Road area of East Wall, at around 4.40pm on Monday of last week.

The male officer, who is of Sri Lankan descent and stationed at Store Street Garda Station, is not expected to return to work for at least another fortnight while he recovers from severe facial injuries.

The garda, aged in his early 30s and a father-of-one, was on mountain bike patrol with a younger male colleague when they came across a group of around 10 “older teenagers” acting suspiciously and possibly involved in a selling drugs, according to sources.

“At least three of the group ran away when the two gardai approached them on their bicycles,” the source said.

“One of the gardai cycled after the fellas who ran away while the victim stayed with the group of around six people who did not run when the two gardai arrived.

“Then, all of a sudden, the garda was struck very hard from behind and then he was attacked by at least two of the group, who punched him repeatedly in the face.

“He got a savage beating – there was lots of blood.

“He was punched numerous times in the face and his own feeling is that if he had not been wearing his bicycle helmet, this situation could have been a lot worse for him.”

When the garda’s colleague noticed what was happening, he quickly cycled back to him and the group of at least six male youths, aged in their late teens, fled from the scene.

They ran away with the garda’s baton, which has still not been recovered.

However, before the other garda came back to help his colleague, the teenagers targeted a man who had attempted to help the garda who was being attacked.

This good Samaritan had his bike stolen by some members of the group.

They stole his bicycle and cycled away before a number of garda patrol cars arrived at the scene.

The injured garda was then rushed to the Mater Hospital, where he was treated in the emergency department for “horrendous injuries” to his face.

“Initially it was feared that he had suffered a broken nose but thankfully that is not the case,” a source said.

“He still has a really bad bruise between his eye and his nose – he is lucky in a way that he did not lose an eye.

“The officer is still very, very shaken about what happened and is not expected in work for a couple of weeks at least.”

No arrests have been made in the case but gardai have obtained good quality CCTV and are following a definite line of inquiry after suspects were identified.

Since the savage assault there has been an increase in marked garda patrols in the East Wall area, as officers attempt to tackle serious anti-social behaviour issues in the locality.

“East Wall had been considered a lovely area but there is no doubt that there are a few families there that are causing big problems,” a source said.

“The area is deteriorating as gardai in the district are focused on murder investigations and protection posts linked to the feud.

“It simply isn’t being policed due to garda resources and as a result anti-social behaviour like this is now rampant.

“There are a particular group of young lads have been causing problems in the area and causing havoc,” the source added.

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