Hero DJ nabbed teen thug who had trashed his car

Geraldine Gittens and Andrew Phelan

A Today FM presenter whose car was trashed by a teenager when he drove into the middle of a street brawl nabbed the culprit and handed him over to gardai.

DJ Keith Cunningham was driving home through the north inner city after his late-night show when his car was attacked by Craig Kavanagh (18).

He had driven up to the scene of a melee outside a takeaway when Kavanagh blocked his path, then set about kicking the car when he was told to move.

"I was driving home from work on the night of the Junior Cert when a brawl broke outside a takeaway on Amiens Street, and a guy went out on to the road and he was throwing slaps all over the place," Keith told the Herald.

"He was a young guy and he was swinging punches all over the place. And he decided I was going to have a run at my car. He put his foot through the back door and did a lot of damage."

Dublin District Court heard damage totalling €1,800 was caused to the DJ's car in the incident. Judge David McHugh gave Kavanagh a three-month suspended sentence, describing him as an "angry young man".

Kavanagh, of North William Street, Dublin 1, had denied a charge of causing criminal damage to the car at Amiens Street on September 16 last.

Cunningham told the court he was coming home late from work at Digges Lane on the night of the incident when he had to turn back to get his phone charger. He came across a group of 12 to 15 youths involved in an altercation.

The accused came running towards his car and obstructed his route. Cunningham held up his mobile phone and told him to get out of his way or he would call the gardai.

At this point, Kavanagh attacked the car.

Cunningham told the Herald: "I grabbed him, turned him around and put his hands behind his back until the guards arrived."