A shocking case of violence the details of which are still unclear. Just one of the ongoing catalogue of attacks on alternative teenagers we have noted before.
18-year-old ‘critical’ after 20ft leap to escape gang
Belfast Irish News (subscription), UK -
A TEENAGER was in hospital last night with serious head injuries after he leapt 20 feet from a bridge in Belfast after being confronted by a group of youths.
The 18-year-old was in a critical but stable condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital after the incident which happened near the city’s Hilton Hotel at around 9.30pm on Saturday.
Police said he was with three other friends when they were confronted by four youths on the footbridge which connects Lanyon Place with East Bridge Street close to the Markets area.
A struggle developed and the 18-year-old jumped to escape, falling about 20ft to the road below.
A 15-year-old was arrested soon after the incident.
Another two teenagers of the same age were arrested yesterday afternoon.
SDLP Councillor Pat McCarthy said: “I believe the young person was a goth and another group of young people chased him and to try and escape he jumped off the footbridge at the Hilton hotel.
“There is a young person seriously ill in hospital and another being questioned by the police. There’s two lives ruined and for what. What sense is there in it?
“I know that goths hang about Lanyon Place of a Saturday but they just use it to gather, talk, and meet their pals.”
Police have asked anyone who witnessed the incident near Central Station is asked to contact detectives at Musgrave Street station on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Moment I watched terrified lad jump 20ft from bridge
Belfast Telegraph, United Kingdom -
A Belfast man has spoken of the moment when he witnessed a terrified teenager fall 20ft to the ground from a footbridge to escape from a gang of youths.
The man, who did not wish to be identified, had been taking a work break outside his office when he saw the 18-year-old - named locally as Gary Forbes from Lisburn - and his friends being chased by a group of youths on the footbridge at Lanyon Place, close to Belfast Central Station, at around 9.30pm on Saturday.
"They were walking up the footpath to the bridge. There was a crowd of teenagers behind them, and I thought there was going to be trouble," he said.
"Four of the group broke away from the crowd, one of them ran up and said something. I saw one of them just punching the guy.
"I shouted to them and that sort of startled them. This guy then ran and jumped over the bridge. I don't think he realised how much of a drop it was."
The man also described the moment when he saw the teenager hit the ground following his terrifying fall.
"It was scary, I didn't believe that he actually did it," he said.
"It was just the noise of him hitting the ground. I had to run down and I had the boy's blood on my hands. I keep on seeing it in my head."
The injured teen was immediately rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital where he underwent major surgery.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said last night that his condition was " critical".
Three 15-year-old youths arrested in connection with the incident were released on Sunday night pending a report to the PPS. A fourth 15-year-old male who was also arrested was released on bail pending further enquiries.
Police have urged anyone who may have been in the area and who may have seen anything to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Monday, February 11, 2008
A teenager who leapt 20 feet from a bridge in a desperate bid to escape a gang of violent youths was last night still fighting for his life in hospital.
The 18-year-old, who suffered serious head injuries in the fall, underwent major surgery in the Royal Victoria Hospital where his condition has been described as "critical but stable".
Three youths, all aged 15, who were arrested in connection with the incident, remained in custody last night.
The youth, who is believed to be from the Lisburn area, was crossing the footbridge close to Belfast's Central Station with three friends at around 9.30pm on Saturday night when they were approached by four youths.
A source close to the investigation said the victim was attacked by the youths and, in a bid to escape, he jumped from the bridge which runs from Belfast's Lanyone Place to East Bridge Street.
"We don't know if he maybe didn't realise how high the bridge was or if he was so terrified about being attacked that he thought it was better to take his chances jumping off the bridge," the source said.
DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said the incident was "another example of the kind of thuggery that stalks the streets of Belfast and other towns of Northern Ireland."
He added: "It is tragic that this young man is fighting for his life. He was not bothering anyone. He was going about his own business and was an easy target for these thugs who have no place in society. I would urge anyone with information to contact police."
Belfast Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers said the spot where the teenager was injured has become a "no-go area" after dark.
"There should not be any no-go areas in Belfast but unfortunately there are and where this incident happened is actually one of those spots. A lot of people will not walk along there after dark," he said.
Mr Rodgers added: "People should feel safe walking through Belfast but they do not. This was an appalling incident and my heart goes out to this young man and his family. I really hope he pulls through and makes a full and speedy recovery."
Police last night said they are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the incident.
A police spokeswoman added: "Three males, all aged 15, are now in custody and are helping police with their inquiries. The 18-year-old remains in hospital where his condition is described as critical but stable.
"Police are re-issuing their appeal for information. Anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the incident is asked to contact detectives at Musgrave Street station on 0845 600 8000, or information about crime can be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111. "
Man critical after jump from bridge to escape fight
Belfast Newsletter, UK -
AN 18-year-old man is in a critical but stable condition in hospital after jumping from a footbridge in Belfast city centre to escape a fight.It is believed the teenager and his three friends were on the footbridge from Lanyon Place to East Bridge Street around 9.30pm on Saturday when they were approached by four youths.
A struggle developed and the 18-year-old jumped to escape.
He fell about 20 feet to the road below. He was later taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Last night Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers said the path the young man had been taking had almost become a "no-go area for locals".
"There have been a number of incidents in this area, many of which have been sectarian.
"It is just unbelievable. At night people use this as a shortcut from the Odyssey and I am told there are young people milling around just waiting to pounce on somebody.
"The police are repeatedly called to this part of Belfast. It is appalling.
"This is becoming a no-go area for locals. I know loads of local people who would not even dream of going along that way at all."
Mr Rodgers said it was "deeply disturbing" that a young man who went for a night out now ends up "fighting for his life in a Belfast hospital".
He said: "This is horrendous and deeply worrying at a time when so many visitors are coming to our city, particularly at weekends. Things like this frighten people off.
"I am urging anyone who knows anything about this incident to contact the police."
SDLP MLA Carmel Hanna also urged anyone with information to cooperate with the PSNI.
She said: "This is one of several such incidents throughout the north this weekend as a result of feral aggression, probably fuelled by alcohol and drugs.
"This could well be a life ruined by a few seconds of vicious stupidity by his attackers."
Three youths, all aged 15, were arrested but later released pending report.
A fourth male was released on bail pending further inquiries.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact detectives at Musgrave Street station on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.