Man assaulted after youths shout ‘racist’ remarks in Ballymena

A MAN was assaulted after a gang of youths shouted “racist” remarks in Ballymena on Saturday night, which police are treating as a hate crime.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information following the report of an assault which occurred in the Dunvale area of Ballymena last night (Saturday, 15th February).

Sergeant Hewat said: “Police received a report at approximately midnight of a serious assault on a male which had occurred around 11:30pm.

“It was reported the victim, aged in his thirties, and another male were leaving an address in the area when a group of between six to eight youths shouted racist remarks at them.

“When the victim challenged the youths, it was reported some of them hopped over a fence and punched and kicked him, after pushing him to the ground. The other man with the victim attempted to intervene. Thankfully, he was not injured.

“The youths then made off.

“Some of the youths are reported to be aged 16 to 17 years old, around 5’ 8’’ tall. One of the youths wore a white-hooded top. Among the youths were two females.

“The victim is currently undergoing treatment at hospital for his injuries, including to his face.

“This was a nasty attack, which is being treated as a hate crime. As well as the physical injuries to the victim, both he and the other male have been left badly shaken.

“Hate crime has no place in society and should be rejected and reviled by everyone.

“If you were in the area at the time of the assault and saw what occurred, or if you can help our investigation in any way, please get in touch by calling 101, quoting reference 01 of 16/02/20.”

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Alliance Councillor for Ballymena, Patricia O’Lynn, condemned those behind the attack.

In a statement to ‘Ballymena Daily’, Councillor O’Lynn said: “Whoever was behind this attack must be condemned without reservation.

“Police are treating this as a racist attack and investigating it as a hate crime.

“Ballymena is a welcoming town and this attack is not a true image of life here.

“I hope the injured man makes a speedy and full recovery and I would urge anyone with information about this attack to report it to the police on the 101 number or anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

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