Teen hospitalised after being kicked in head and dragged onto road in suspected sectarian attack

Police have appealed for information
Police have appealed for information

A 15-year-old boy has been hospitalised after being kicked in the head in what's being treated as a sectarian attack in Londonderry.

The teenager's shirt was ripped off while he was dragged out into the middle of the Rossdowney Road during the incident which occurred on Saturday night.

Police in the city have appealed for witnesses following the reported sectarian assault.

Inspector William Calderwood said: “It was reported to us yesterday that at around 10:10pm on Saturday night May 19, a 15-year-old boy was walking along Rossdowney Road with his friends when they were stopped outside a shop by a group of approximately 30 youths.

“One of the males in the group, described as being at least five-feet six-inches tall with brown hair and a blonde fringe, aged 16 or 17 and wearing glasses, stopped and spoke to the boy. It was reported this male then called over three other youths who were with him and the 15-year-old boy was assaulted.

“The victim sustained a number of kicks to his head, face and back and a punch to his face. His shirt was also ripped off him.

“The attack ended up on the middle of the road where, at some point, the victim was able to get to his feet and run up the road towards a roundabout. A member of the public who was driving a white jeep-type vehicle stopped and took the victim home.

“The victim subsequently attended hospital where he was treated for his injuries, which included bruising to his back and face, grazes to his arms and legs and a chipped tooth."

Inspector Caldwell said police believe there may have been a sectarian motive.

He has appealed for witnesses.

“This was a vicious attack, which is being treated as a sectarian assault at this time.

“I am appealing to anyone who was on the Rossdowney Road on Saturday evening between 10.10pm and 10:30pm and witnessed the assault to contact us. I would also ask drivers travelling on the road around the time the assault occurred, and who have a dash can fitted to their vehicle to check their footage.

“I would also appeal to the man who stopped his vehicle and drove the victim home to get in touch.

“Anyone who has information about this assault is asked to call police at Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 731 of 20/05/18. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime," he said.