Northern Ireland

Police officer bitten and choked in ‘brutal’ attack

A police officer needed hospital treatment after being attacked in Banbridge, Co Down (Niall Carson/PA)
A police officer needed hospital treatment after being attacked in Banbridge, Co Down (Niall Carson/PA) A police officer needed hospital treatment after being attacked in Banbridge, Co Down (Niall Carson/PA)

A police officer needed hospital treatment after being assaulted, bitten and choked in a “brutal” attack.

The incident happened after he responded to a report of a fight between two men at a takeaway in Banbridge, Co Down, at around 11pm on Monday night.

He and a colleague had been speaking to the two men separately when one lashed out at him.

The PSNI said the officer was kicked in the face and bitten on the shoulder during the incident and was also choked by the suspect, as a result of which he is currently unable to speak.

As other officers arrived they were also attacked, with one being headbutted and another bitten on the arm.

A 36-year-old man has been charged with offences including assault, assault on police, non-fatal strangulation and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

H is due to appear before Lisburn Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Chief Inspector Brendan Green said the incident shows what officers on the ground face every day.

“It is appalling that any police officer should be subjected to such brutality whilst simply doing their job,” he said.

“We are supporting them following this very difficult experience and providing the appropriate care and welfare support.

“This horrible incident just shows the often grim reality of what our officers on the ground are facing each and every day.

“While we come to work knowing we could be faced with difficult and dangerous situations, it is completely unacceptable that our officers should be physically assaulted, and such attacks will not be tolerated.”

One of the offences the suspect is being questioned about is non-fatal strangulation or asphyxiation, which became a specific criminal offence in Northern Ireland at the end of June.

This arrest takes the total made since the new legislation went live to 22.

To date, 10 alleged perpetrators have been charged with the new offence.